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IG Group Pulls the Plug on Bitcoin Binary Options

In mid-April this year, British spread betting and CFD brokerage, IG Group, became the first financial services provider to launch Bitcoin binary options trading. Prompted by the virtual currency’s fastly growing popularity, this groundbreaking move seemed like a good idea at the time and was followed by a new interest in the company from an audience that IG Group hadn’t previously been able to appeal to.

But just a month and a half later, as this first set of options draw towards their expiration today, 31 May, released an exclusive material saying that IG Group will now be discontinuing its bitcoin binary options offering for good. The publication received the news at the iFXEXPO in Limassol. When asked of the underlying reasons for this step backwards, IG Group’s representatives pointed to nothing in specific, just “management decisions”.
This could very well be the case but bearing in mind all the trouble that the cryptocurrency went through over the past few weeks, one can’t help but think that IG Group is simply looking to distance itself from the negative publicity. First, bitcoin’s largest exchange, Mt. Gox, faced sizable problems as the US Department of Homeland Security froze its Dwolla account. Given that Dwolla is one of the very few processors which handle bitcoin payments, the suspension of the service must have caused great inconveniences.
Not long after, another electronic payment system working with Mt. Gox, Liberty Reserve, was shut down after its owner, Arthur Budovsky, was arrested on allegations of money laundering. According to the official indictment against Budovsky, he is accused of having laundered some $6 billion in criminal proceeds between the years of 2006 to 2013 which constitutes the largest online money laundering case in history. With bitcoin’s anonymity, many believe the currency has just about the same potential for illegal transactions and if not regulated, which the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is already looking into, it might quickly resume the functions of Budovsky’s business.
And as if all that wasn’t enough, OKPay -- also a payment processor and a longtime partner of Mt. Gox, announced a couple of days back that it’ll no longer be performing bitcoin transfers which extends not only to Mt.Gox but to all bitcoin exchanges out there.
It’s been a rough month for Bitcoin and it makes sense for those who boldly threw themselves into the new and unexplored to have their doubts now that we see the currency might not be headed into the glorious future we all imagined. With IG Group pulling the plug on its bitcoin binary options, the only other broker to continue offering the like product remains AnyOption. You’ll be able to take advantage of it at least until 15 July when the options expire.

About IG Group

IG Group Holdings plc is a United Kingdom-based company. The IG Group is a global provider of contracts for difference (CFDs) and spread betting to retail investors. IG, through its main brands, IG Index and IG Markets, provides over 14,000 spread betting and CFD products on a range of financial markets, including Forex, stock indices, shares, commodities, binaries, options and interest rates. IG Group Holdings plc, the parent of the IG Group, is listed on the London Stock Exchange. The IG Group employees approximately 1,000 people worldwide and has offices in the UK, France, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Japan, Australia, South Africa and Singapore.
TAGS: bitcoin  binary options  ig group  broker  mt.gox  bitcoin exchnage  anyoption 
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