Interactive Brokers CEO Thomas Peterffy on Bitcoin

Just reading the Interactive Brokers Q3-2017 conference call, we have the following amusing dialog between an analyst and CEO Thomas Peterffy:

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Mac Sykes
Understood. And when I think of IBG, I think of technology innovation, a broad suite of global product vehicles and as you mentioned, sophisticated traders. And love it or hate it at this point, Bitcoin’s market cap is now about 1/3 of JPMorgan’s. So 2 questions on this. Have you considered accessing this marketplace? And number two, have you heard client feedback asking for this kind of access?

Thomas Peterffy
The answer is yes to both, and the result is that we’re not going to do it.

Mac Sykes
Got it. What would make you just change your mind?

Thomas Peterffy
If the United States of America said, you know, besides dollars, we also have Bitcoins, and you can pay your taxes in Bitcoins, we would be the first one to go and do it.

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Ouch. Interactive Brokers is a brilliant, brilliantly run company, but the public entity is a company that only owns 17.4% of the actual operation. It is primarily for this reason and valuation that I am not an investor, but it is up nearly 50% over the past half year and strategically I think they are hitting every correct button in their business execution.

1 thought on “Interactive Brokers CEO Thomas Peterffy on Bitcoin”

  1. The regulatory risk and technical risks (hacking, stuff like hard forks, etc.) is not worth it for a any entity like IBKR to get in. But if someone else like CBOE lists bitcoin futures / options, there would be no reason for them not to allow people to trade that contract.

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