This post may have affiliate links. That means if you make a purchase I may get a commission (at no extra cost for you). To find out more about it read our Disclosure page
- Are you planning to buy a large amount of BTC?
- Or are you thinking about selling a large amount of BTC?
Then you should definitely use a Bitcoin OTC broker.
If you haven’t heard about Bitcoin OTC brokers and what they are for then I will explain it for you. But basically they are services offering trading for people that wants to sell or buy in large quantities of Bitcoin, or other cryptocurrencies. There are also OTC brokers for non-crypto investments of course. Such as stocks, funds, bonds, commodities, etc.
Brokers are basically firms or agents that invest on behalf you. Same goes for non-crypto brokerage services or crypto brokers.
What are Bitcoin OTC brokers?
As mentioned briefly above BTC OTC brokers, or Over-the-Counter brokers are specific service sites/firms that provide you with the help of buying BTC or selling BTC.
With BTC OTC brokerage services you as a buyer connect with a seller.
Normally if you are a retail investor looking to buy or sell smaller sums of Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies then you wouldn’t need to use a broker service. Unless you find it confusing and you want help in managing the trade but also the custodial part of storing your BTCs.
But normally these broker services would have a lower limit, perhaps it is $100,000 or even more. So unless you reach those figures we’d recommend you use a traditional cryptocurrency exchange like Binance, Coinbase or Kraken. Or a broker site like Changelly, Bitpanda or Coinmama.
A Bitcoin OTC broker would handle all the transactions on private networks / exchanges. So you can’t just join these exchanges and see all open trades.
You would need to go via a broker service to use these exchanges.
There are two types of standard OTC Desks services:
- The first is your standard broker service that connects a buyer with a seller. And taking a fixed fee for utilising and managing the trade
- The other is your OTC trading company. That takes on your trade but also part of the risk by acting as the direct counter party for your trade. And then/before looking into the current liquidity on the market or off the market (via their networks)
- With (Bitcoin) OTC brokers there are only a buyer and a seller
- You agree on a price beforehand and the broker help you both finalise the transaction (with the escrow and custodial services).
Why should you use a Bitcoin OTC broker?
There are tons of cryptocurrency exchanges available right now, all with good trading sites and features. So should you use a OTC broker?
Well there are a couple of very good reasons for you to use a Bitcoin OTC brokerage service. And that is if you are planning to sell or buy in large quantities.
Let us say that you wanted to buy 1000 Bitcoins. That is $7.340,430 USD during the time of writing this.
And the daily volume (24h) of Bitcoin is $47 102 024 637 USD across most of the popular normal non-OTC cryptocurrency exchanges (compared to the Bitcoin OTC market of about $20 billion per day).
But that is the total volume from both buyers and sellers. And unfortunately that number isn’t actually genuine, as the cryptocurrency exchanges often have lots of fake trades and bot trading.
So the actual volume would be far less than that.
But even so, with $7.3 million worth of USD, you would have about 7-10x more liquidity than the biggest Bitcoin exchanges available. Binance which is one of the biggest crypto exchanges has a daily liquidity of about $744.665 USD.
Which is just 10% of the available amount that you would want to buy. So that wouldn’t even cover the amount you would want to buy. So you would need to use multiple exchanges which obviously would be a hassle.
The other problem when transacting in large amount on open exchanges is that you are literally buying up the order book. When you buy up all the supply you are driving the price upwards. So if you wanted to buy all of your BTC in a set price range then you would quickly notice that wouldn’t be possible.
Sellers would increase the sales prices and you would move the price of Bitcoin up too much.
Another headache would be the hassle and risk of moving such large quantities of BTC off the exchange. What happens if there are any issues with the exchange?
Or just the fear of doing something wrong when moving such large sums would put fear in most of us.
Neither of these issues would be a problem if you were to use a BTC OTC broker.
Benefits of using a Bitcoin OTC desk service
- Much larger liquidities are available compared to retail exchanges
- No specific set limits. Buy BTC to any amount you want
- Easy Fiat payment methods. A Bitcoin OTC broker would accept any traditional Fiat payment method.
- Set your desired amount and price range and buy BTC knowingly it would be done to your agreed terms with the broker
- Enjoy the benefits of the custodial services of your broker. No need to worry about losing your funds or any mishaps when withdrawing your funds.
- Buy or sell Bitcoin completely anonymous and maintain your privacy
There are obvious additional fees when using the broker service and enjoying the premium services.
Leading Bitcoin OTC brokers to use in 2020
These are some of the leading Bitcoin OTC desks that you could use in 2020.
1 ) Kraken OTC Desk
Kraken which is also one of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges, and one of the oldest BTC exchanges in the world has their own OTC Desk.
Kraken previously acquires last year Circle Trade, another top-rated OTC Desk in the crypto space.
So right now Kraken is one of the leading OTC Desks available. With all the digital features as you could expect but also with an in-depth knowledge of the cryptocurrency trading market.
Why you should pick Kraken’s OTC Desk:
- Expert market insights from a dedicated team of traders and investors
- Full asset support, whether it being any of the cryptocurrencies available on Kraken’s exchange or a range of Fiat currencies (USD, EUR, CAD,JPY, GBP, CHF).
- Concierge services. Full 1-on-1 services. Easily sell or buy BTC at Kraken knowing it will get taken care of with a focus on realiability and user experience.
- Learn more about Kraken’s OTC Desk here
2 ) Bitfinex Bitcoin OTC Desk
Bitfinex’s OTC Desk for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is one of the biggest in the business and it manages some of the largest ever Bitcoin trades made.
Bitfinex has found itself at the centre of much attention in recent years. Much due to the ongoing Tether topics concerning the cryptocurrency exchange.
To get started with trading on Bitfinex’s Bitcoin OTC desk you need to sign up and then provide some additional information to the OTC Desk Lead to start transacting. There is a minimum OTC trade desk size of $100,000 USD.
Bitfinex’s sister exchange DeversiFi (previously Ethfinex), owned by the same group, Ifinex) launched their own OTC Desk. Where the focus is on Ethereum-based tokens and providing the same capacity for large scale transactions but made through the power of decentralisation.
Why you should pick Bitfinex OTC Desk:
- It has one of the biggest liquidity pools available
- It might be engaged in some legal disputes but it is still one of the biggest and most known brands in the cryptocurrency space which could give some comfort that they should know what they’re doing
3 ) Genesis Trading
This is a global leading OTC Trading Desk for Bitcoin but also other cryptocurrencies such as ETH, BCH, XRP, LTC, ETC and ZEC.
But if you would be interested in dealing with Genesis Trading and other digital assets that wouldn’t be a problem usually.
Genesis has a lower limit of $75,000 per minimum transaction. They are fully regulated and operating globally and in the U.S. Genesis has been around since 2013, and it is run by Michael Moro and with their headquarter set in NYC.
Why you should pick Genesis OTC Desk:
- The option to buy and sell Bitcoin completely privately
- Same-day settlement. For speedy settlements using their own user-friendly interface
- Expert team with years of experience from the crypto and non-crypto trading world.
- Fully regulated with the Securities Regulation, FINRA & SEC and NYS DFS BitLicense. Making it an obvious choice amongts U.S based traders. private transaction
4 ) ICO Malta
ICO Malta is a Malta-based leading ICO platform but also full of other cryptocurrency and trading services.
One of those is their Bitcoin OTC Desk. With a standard OTC Desk ICO Malta can provide the deep liquidity, the expert trading advice and full concierge services expected when you sell or buy Bitcoin for more than $100,000.
ICO Malta has a daily capacity of about 2,000 BTC which is about $14.8 million USD.
Why you should pick ICO Malta:
- Full asset support – with more than 25 + cryptocurrency assets. From BTC to ETH, BCH, LTC, XLM and many more
- Deep liquidity pools with a global network of financial institutes, UHQUs and miners these guys can connect you with one of the best liquidity pools
- A dedicated team of OTC traders that can make sure you are buying and selling BTC easily and securely
5 ) Coinbase OTC + Coinbase Custody
Coinbase which is one of the most well-known brands in the crypto space has their own OTC desk.
Coinbase has two traditional retail exchange services, which is Coinbase and then Coinbase Pro. They also have an investment trading platform for institutions that want to engage in more frequent trading in Coinbase Prime.
And then they have Coinbase Custody. Which is a custodial service for entities or individuals with large amounts of Bitcoins or other cryptocurrencies. And Coinbase Custody offers to store these cryptocurrencies in a safe cold storage location.
And now institutes, or agencies can use Coinbase’s OTC desk in combination with Coinbase Custody. For much easier management in a digital manner of their trades and storage.
Why you should pick Coinbase OTC Desk, such as:
- Full custodial services. Not only for your specific trade but also for the long term. Keeping your cryptocurrencies safe using a leading brand in the space
- Dedicated trading team. Coinbase’s OTC team combined with their traditional trading team makes us one of the most experienced teams in the crypto space
- Coinbase have several leading features and brands of their own in the space. You know that they know the importance of a good user-friendly service
- Find out more about Coinbase’s OTC desk here
6 ) IBIS Brokers
This is one of the leading BTC brokers in Europe. A fully bespoke consierge broker that will take of the entire experience when buying or selling large quantities of BTC. IBIS Brokers is actually a division of ICO Malta.
But they are running separately and with the full capacity that you could expect of an OTC Desk and with the added modern features.
Why you should pick IBIS Brokers:
- A team full of professional traders
- Full concierge services making your transaction done safely and easily
- Full asset support. With support of more than 40+ cryptocurrencies any large sums in crypto can be handle by IBIS Brokers.
7 ) HiveEx
HiveEx This is a leading global OTC Desk and brokereage service. HiveEX provides liqudity and transaction from trades ranging from $50,000 to $100M USD.
They started operating in 2018 and have grown steadily to become one of the most popuar OTC Desks for Bitcoin trades, but also other cryptocurrencies.
The founder of HiveEx is the founder of Australia’s biggest financial comparison site finder.com.au
Why you should pick HiveEx:
- Same day settlements. With a strong liquid network, HiveEx can sort your transactions the same day.
- Very good liquidity. With up to $100M in USD transactions possible this is one Bitcoin OTC Desk for the bigger volumes.
- Flexible traders and trades. Buy easily using WhatsApp, phone or email. These guys are working to make your large BTC trades work smoothly and efficiently.
I hope you found this article on what OTC Desk/brokers are and specifically how Bitcoin OTC brokers work.
And by now you would know if you should focus on using a BTC OTC Desk when you want to buy or sell Bitcoin.
Or if you should instead go with a normal retail cryptocurrency exchange.
If there is anything in this article that is not clear and you are still wondering about how Bitcoin OTC brokerage services work then leave a comment and we will get back to you.
If you enjoyed this article then make sure you share it with others, so more can learn about Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, and BTC OTC Desks.
Find other guides:
- Best way to invest in crypto
- Best Masternode coins
- Bitcoin investing guide
- How to short Bitcoin
- Best Ethereum wallets
Per Englund – Founder of Go CryptoWise a cryptocurrency and tech fan that want to see better and smarter products and services that make our lives better and easier