Buying crypto for Swiss residents [2023]

I was not allowed to buy few years back. Not from Switzerland. But maybe it’s a settings issue.

Yeah UK has restrictions on crypto trading and CH resident are at IB UK.

Tho iirc there were talks to change those UK regulations, so that might change.

UK is not on the list but Switzerland is. I’ll give a try

Is there eligibility criteria linked to residency to trade cryptocurrency?

Individual, joint or trust accounts (including most clients of Financial Advisors) and organizational accounts (excluding three tier structures and non-Fully Disclosed Brokers) from the following countries might be eligible to trade cryptocurrency under either the Basic or Plus Cryptocurrency trading permissions:

  • United States
  • Aland Islands
  • American Samoa
  • Andorra
  • Angola
  • Anguilla
  • Armenia
  • Argentina
  • Aruba
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bahamas
  • Bahrain
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Benin
  • Bhutan
  • Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba
  • Botswana
  • British Indian Ocean Territory
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Brunei Darussalam
  • Burkina Faso
  • Cambodia
  • Cameroon
  • Cape Verde
  • Cayman Islands
  • Channel Islands and Jersey
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Curacao
  • Djibouti
  • East Timor
  • Ecuador
  • El Salvador
  • Eswatini
  • Faeroe Islands
  • Falkland Islands (Malvinas)
  • Fiji
  • French Guiana
  • French Polynesia
  • Gambia
  • Georgia
  • Ghana
  • Gibraltar
  • Greenland
  • Grenada
  • Guadeloupe
  • Guam
  • Guatemala
  • Guernsey
  • Honduras
  • Jamaica
  • Jordan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kenya
  • Kiribati
  • Kuwait
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Lao People`s Democratic Republic
  • Maldives
  • Marshall Islands
  • Martinique
  • Mauritius
  • Mayotte
  • Micronesia, Federated States of
  • Monaco
  • Mongolia
  • Montenegro
  • Montserrat
  • Namibia
  • Netherlands Antilles
  • New Caledonia
  • Nicaragua
  • Norfolk Island
  • Northern Mariana Islands
  • Oman
  • Palau
  • Panama
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Pitcairn
  • Puerto Rico
  • Republic of Korea
  • Republic of Moldova
  • Reunion
  • Rwanda
  • Saint Barthelemy
  • Saint Helena
  • Samoa
  • Serbia
  • Seychelles
  • Sint Maarten
  • Solomon Islands
  • Sri Lanka
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • Tonga
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Turks and Caicos Islands
  • Tuvalu
  • Uganda
  • United Republic of Tanzania
  • United States Virgin Islands
  • Uruguay
  • Uzbekistan
  • Viet Nam
  • Zambia

All eligible clients may request “Cryptocurrencies” trading permissions in Client Portal. However, final approval will be determined by Cryptocurrency Service Providers. Trading is limited to the primary user on the account.

Please Note

  • Trading of cryptocurrency is not offered in IRA accounts or tax wrapper accounts such as ISA or SIPP in the UK.
  • Added users of eligible accounts with “Cryptocurrencies” trading permissions are not permitted to place cryptocurrency trades.
  • For eligible Financial Advisors, underlying clients must also reside in an eligible country in order to hold or trade cryptocurrency.
  • Clients who are nationals of prohibited countries but are residents of an approved country are able to onboard to Paxos and trade cryptocurrency.

All exchange and custody services in connection with trading and holding cryptocurrency tokens and other digital asset tokens through IBKR trading platforms are provided by Cryptocurrency Service Providers. Learn more.

Thanks for the hint, just wrote a ticket to activate cryptos for me as well.

Already got an answer:

Dear Mr. xerox5003,

Our system reflects that your account is under IB-UK entity. Cryptocurrency permissions are available under IBLLC-US entity for Switzerland residents.

Please note trading in crypto currency is available for legal residents of Switzerland only under IBLLC-US entity.

In order to trade cryptocurrency, you will be required to start a new application from the IBKR web site (www.interactivebrokers.com) with an alternate email address and follow the steps:
-Select the red OPEN ACCOUNT button followed by the red START APPLICATION button to get started

  • Create a Username, Password, enter your email and the Country/Region - Switzerland
  • There will be a pop up box on the screen asking for the trading permissions in Crypto currency > Select to trade in Cryptocurrency for your account to open under IBLLC-US entity.
  • Follow the remaining system prompts entering each required field before selecting SAVE & CONTINUE from the bottom-right corner of the Application.

Once your new account under IBLLC-US entity is opened, you may then request for Full Internal Account Transfer from IB-UK account to your new IBLLC-US account by sending a webticket request.
Please note the Full Internal Transfer is a Manual process, and under normal circumstances, takes 3 to 4 weeks to complete, subject to review.

Additionally, we are working on enabling the cryptocurrency trading for IB-UK clients, but we cannot give the exact time frame for it.

Kind regards,

=====================

Maybe I will wait. Or do you know the impacts/benefits/drawbacks from switching from IBRK UK to IBRK US?

I’m unsure if they’ll actually let you open an IB-US account. Afaik when people move from US to Switzerland they’re being asked to switch accounts.

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I would rather focus on this part.

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Referring to this part:

  • There will be a pop up box on the screen asking for the trading permissions in Crypto currency > Select to trade in Cryptocurrency for your account to open under IBLLC-US entity.

I can imagine that this is new. I do not remember receiving that when opening the account with IBRK, so this could be an option to open an US account.

I will probably try to open an IBRK US account for cryptos only. The other assets I will leave with IBRK UK. At the moment, I do not have the overview of implications, advantages and drawbacks of having a full US account.

@Dr.PI this is an option as well, absolutely. But I am waiting for years now :slight_smile:

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IBRK US… is it worth the hassle? What’s the advantage e.g. over Kraken?
Kraken fees are between 0 and 0.4%, but you can buy BTC, ETH directly with CHF and you can transfer them to your own wallet via L0 or LN network. Not sure if you can do this with IBRK.

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For IBRK I found this: Commissions Cryptocurrencies | Interactive Brokers LLC

It seems, that the fees are a bit lower. For my part, with IBRK I feel safe enough to keep my BTC there. With any other non-bank I would transfer it to an own wallet.

Edit:
Following info pops up:

Edit2: US Account is setting up.

Edit3: already set up and funded with CHF 1‘000.

Buying crypto works BUT see following notification.

It seems there are two limits, the lower one applies:

  • max. 10% cryptos of your assets linked with this IBRK US account
  • max. USD 1m

When using 9.9% of the funds, purchasing is possible amd it shows the commission as well.

I will search for a workaround. Otherwise, I have to merge the UK and US account.

Edit4: There is no workaround, see follwing FAQ:

Edit5: When transferring the funds, you will get a CH-IBAN number, but different than the one for IBRK UK. Transfer was done within 12 minutes, sent from Neon (Hypothekarbank Lenzburg).

I am currently checking with IBRK at the moment, what an account transfer from the UK entity to the US entity means.

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Yes, transferring from IBRK/Paxos to an external wallet is possible:

image

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Follow up: bought a bit of an BTC ETF. Coins as direct investments will follow.

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