Admiral Markets, a European-regulated forex broker, announced it is temporarily cutting the leverage for the CFDs on BTCUSD that it started offering earlier in July, along with similar products with Ether, Litecoin, Ripple.
Starting from July 31, the leverage on the BTCUSD contract will be reduced to 1:2, until further notice.
According to Admiral Markets, the eventual Bitcoin hard fork/s in August could lead to market disturbances and sharp drop in the cryptocurrency’s value, so the lowering of leverage is a protection against negative balances.
A hard fork means a change in the blockchain protocol and may split the chain in two or even more. Sometimes, this could lead to the splitting of the cryptocurrency itself, much like Ethereum and Ethereum Classic after last summer’s hard fork of the Distributed Autonomous Organization (DAO).
“If any of the hardforks happen and our cryptocurrency exchange duly splits our Bitcoin balances, we will reflect the value of the new altcoins by crediting funds to your account”, Admiral Markets said. “But please be aware that in the event of a value split the rate of Bitcoin will drop proportionally, or drop by a greater value for a short time, due to a chain reaction on the crypto-exchanges and the likely reaction of unaware coin holders.”
The Bitcoin hard fork has been set for August 1 and, according to latest reports, would not cause a split of the cryptocurrency itself. Instead, the protocol will be changed in order to cope better with the increased demand and transactions. Nevertheless, 13 major Japanese bitcoin exchanges said they would temporarily suspend their operations in order to avoid the chaos of an eventual splitting of the Bitcoin.
Admiral Markets is an online trading provider, offering trading in forex and CFDs on stocks, indices, precious metals and energy and is regulated by UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). It offers several types of account, with minimum deposit requirement starting from $250 and leverage of up to 1:500.
The company also has an Estonia–based sister company, Admiral Markets AS, which is a white label provider regulated by the Estonian Financial Supervision Authority (EFSA). The Admiral Markets group also consists of Australia-regulated Admiral Markets Pty and Cyprus-regulated Admiralex.