Binary Options Trading in the USA: Is it legal or not?


The US has significant economic ties with Asia, particularly with countries such as China, Japan and South Korea, both in terms of trade and investment. Binary options are among the most accessible financial instruments to trade. This is because they boil trading down to a straightforward proposition:

Will the price of the asset rise above or fall below a specific point at a particular time?

If you believe that the price will rise, you can buy binary options, and if you expect the price to fall, you can short the options.

In 2008, the SEC approved the trading of binary options. Because of their simplicity and limited risk, binary options trading has grown more widespread over the years.

An increase in trader appetite for binary options trading subsequently led to a rise in the number of viable binary options brokerages.

However, learning about Binary trading in the USA and its regulation is quite difficult; in this guide, we will highlight all regulatory aspects and show you how to trade legal Binary Options in the USA.

Is Binary Options trading legal in the US?

Binary options trading is legal in the United States, but the restrictions are slightly different from those in other countries around the world. Binary alternatives are considered gambling at the level of casinos and other settings because of the risk of funds involved.

As such, US traders are only allowed to brokers and exchanges regulated or licensed by the CFTC. CFTC rules protect traders from fraud in the binary options market as well as other markets such as swaps and futures.

Some binary options brokers serve US traders, but these may be more tightly regulated than others to comply with US rules.

If you are unsure of your binary options platform, ask yourself:

Where are they and are they in the US? If yes, make sure you are registered with the CFTC and National Futures Association.

  • Is it legal to attract US customers?
  • Are the client’s funds in separate accounts with large US banks?
  • Can I withdraw money at any time?
  • Has the buyer ever made a profit at a loss?

To avoid fraud and false promises, you should work with exchanges regulated by the US CFTC.

Regulation of the Binary Options market in the US

The binary options market is regulated in the US by the Commodities and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), and examples of brokers in the US territory that are deemed compliant with US tax laws on investments include the North American Derivatives Exchange (NADEX).

The official logo of the CFTC

When it comes to regulation of the binary options market in the US, what constitutes the regulatory practices that binary options brokerages are supposed to follow?

  • As a baseline, binary options firms are expected to be well-capitalized. This means that any binary options brokerage firm that wants to start a business in the United States is expected to have a minimum capital requirement before their application even comes up for consideration.
  • A big problem that was seen with some brokerage firms was that when they went insolvent, they also caused the loss of trading capital to their clients. To prevent this, brokerage firms are now required to keep the trading capital of their clients in sequestered accounts. No money can be drawn from these sequestered accounts to fund the operating costs of the brokerage firm. Not only does this force brokers to maintain good accounting practices, but it also protects traders in the event of insolvency of the brokerage firm.
  • Regulators perform regular accounting checks to detect any early signs of trouble with the broker’s finances.
  • Brokers are mandated to respond in writing to any accusations of wrongdoing by clients and to submit themselves to thorough investigations of any accusations without blocking the process or tampering with evidence.

These systems are in place in the US jurisdiction, and the CFTC has a reputation for taking its regulatory function seriously. In 2010, a broker was slammed with a $ 14 million fine after complaints of price manipulation by traders were investigated and found to be true. Such actions are what have set the US aside as a country that has taken a strong stance on effecting regulatory function on brokers.

Many of these regulatory frameworks are missing in several jurisdictions.

For instance, there are some areas where anyone can set up a binary options brokerage for as low as $20,000. Such a development portends trouble for traders as there is virtually no regulatory oversight, and traders have absolutely no protection from financial and pricing malpractices.

Beware of OTC Binary Options Technology

Currently, a large amount of binary options trades occur through online trading platforms. These sites often do not comply with US regulations. In fact, as the number of these platforms increased, so did the number of fraud complaints against the CFTC.

Scams have been reported in which a binary options agency says it has transferred funds into an investor’s account but does not. You can even refuse to accept a refund or demand a hidden cost to get your possessions back. Many binary options trading platforms exaggerate average returns or even modify historical data to make your investment appear more promising than it is. Several binary options trading platforms may provide bonuses in exchange for registering or establishing a new account. If an investor completes a particular minimum trading volume before cash withdrawals, he or she will receive a bonus.

Binary options are all-or-nothing contracts in which either team wins, but the other loses solely on a yes/no result. A set sum or a portion of the invested capital is paid for a profitable venture. A loss frequently results in a total loss of the investment.

Binary options are legal in the United States and can be traded there, but only on US-regulated exchanges. These markets are known as Designated Contract Markets (DCMs). Some binary options are listed on exchanges or traded on the CFTC or DCM, which are both regulated by the SEC. However, binary options are only a small part of the overall market. In the United States, just three DCMs now offer binary options. Currently, only three DCMs offer binary options in the US, and (NADEX) is currently the best of them all.

However, many offshore companies involved in binary options trading are not registered with the CFTC, so it is best to avoid them all. When a company does business offshore, investors are much more vulnerable and at greater risk of being scammed. Offshore companies operate without CFTC registration and do not meet the same standards as US companies.

To further complicate matters, market experts are seeing a growing number of software platforms targeting OTC binary options that are not regulated by the CFTC. Only trading partners who are brokers or options contracts are required. Investors should be cautious when entering the binary options market and be aware of the risks of fraud, manipulation, and abuse.

How safe is binary options trading?

In general, binary options trading is as safe as other trading markets. The Securities and Exchange Commission approved binary options in 2008, and traders around the world consider this type of trade to be one of the safest trades on the market.

One of the reasons binary options trading is safe is because it is simple and easy. There is no risk of losing money because you do not understand the terms of the investment. Binary options are simple and there is no problem in calculating how much money you will gain or lose on each contract.

However, not all binary options brokers are safe and reliable. The best way to keep your trades safe is to use a reliable binary broker with a secure trading platform.

You should only deposit money with a regulated binary options broker if you are confident that the trading platform is reliable and has positive reviews from other traders. If you have any doubts about website security, look for another binary options broker.

How to trade Binary Options in the USA:

You did some research and I think binary options trading is for you. Here’s how to get started.

1. Choosing a Binary Options Broker in the USA

You can find a lot of information you need on the broker’s website, but if you’re not sure, don’t hesitate to ask. The best binary broker for you is the one that is most convenient for you to manage.

2. Choose the underlying asset to trade

Narrowing down your choices can be the most difficult. Binary options trading is extensive and includes commodities, stocks, indices, and forex. You can bet on almost anything.

Stocks are widely used for underlying assets because they can make great returns in a shorter amount of time. In a way, you can play the stock market without agreeing to a financial call option.

iq option assets

Indices, commodities, and currencies are also common choices.

Nadex provides access to binary trading based on:

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average
  • S&P 500
  • Nasdaq
  • Russell 2000

You can also trade with Nadex at:

  • Copper
  • Silver
  • Gold
  • Soybeans
  • Corn
  • Natural gas
  • Crude oil

Binary options trading can also focus on current events such as unemployment or Federal Reserve interest rates.

You can also try the forex market or the forex market as a binary trader. This method of currency trading can be more expensive, but it has the advantage of limiting your losses, so you can try it without too much risk.

CBOE offers options based on the S&P 500 Volatility Index and CBOE.

When it comes to binary options trading, your options are virtually unlimited. I do some market research data and research. Choose an asset that attracts you and has good earning potential. Once you’ve gathered your knowledge and understanding of your target, you’re ready to go.

3. Choose your investment amount

How much capital are you willing to invest in binary options games? As you work with binaries, you will come across good/bad news. The good news is that the more you invest, the higher your potential return. The bad news is that depending on the outcome, you could lose your entire transaction amount. While deciding how much money you can lose, you need to invest enough to get enough binary trades and decent payouts.

4. Choose an expiration date

Think of expiry times as the finish line for binary options. This is the moment the trade ends and depends on whether you have made a profit or lost your investment.

The expiry time is 1 year from 30 seconds to the end of the day. Investors believe that ending in less than 5 minutes is short-term or “turbo.” Closing time 5 minutes before the end of the day or the underlying asset is classified as a normal expiration time. Anything longer than the end of the day is considered a long term.

30 second trade

Think about your trading style and goals. Want to complete more trades and increase your potential profit? Are you focusing more on transaction accuracy than quantity?

If you are a new short-term trader, you should consider expiry times of 30 and 60 seconds with the end at the end of the day. Consider trade size and price movement when making decisions.

5. Select currency/addition to predict market direction

This is a binary moment of truth. You must decide whether the value of the selected asset will increase or decrease. Remember, this is all or nothing. This is the nature of binary options. Now press the button on the device, and hopefully, the prediction will come true.

Binary Options Brokers that accept US Clients

Several brokerages enable binary options trading, but not every brokerage accepts US clients. This is because of the restrictive, often confusing legal landscape for binary options in the US.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the National Futures Association (NFA) regulate financial trading in the USA. However, the authorities have shown no interest in licensing the majority of online brokers.


Furthermore, there remains a lack of a regulatory framework that allows every brokerage to trade binary options for US traders.

That said, there are several offshore binary options brokers, some of which are regulated, that allow trading binary options for US traders. However, traders in the US must investigate every broker they’re considering signing up with thoroughly. Not every brokerage operates to the highest of standards.

Bearing that in mind, below is a list of tried-and-tested binary options brokers that accept US clients.

Best binary broker for the USA: – #1 Nadex

Nadex is an exchange based in the US and regulated by the CFTC – it’s not a brokerage but an exchange. It offers trading tools and features to make it worthwhile for both novice and experienced binary options traders.

The exchange was founded in 2004 and was initially named “HedgeStreet.” The founders aimed to build a marketplace to enable trading derivatives. However, by 2007, HedgeStreet had closed its doors.


In 2009, HedgeStreet was purchased by IG Group Holdings Plc. and rebranded as North American Derivatives Exchange (NADEX). Nadex has its headquarters in Chicago, Illinois.

The exchange enables trading binary options on various markets, including commodity futures, equity index futures, commodities, and foreign exchange.

Nadex offers two types of accounts – one for US traders and the other for traders from overseas.


As mentioned above, the exchange is regulated by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission. You can verify the details about its regulation on the CFTC’s website.

The regulatory authorities ensure that Nadex maintains the highest security and privacy standards. Besides being available to US customers, the platform allows traders from over 40 countries to trade binary options.

Minimum Deposit and Fees

When you sign up, you will need to pay the minimum initial deposit of $250. However, the industry average fluctuates around $500, making Nadex an attractive exchange for new traders.

After making your first deposit, you will instantly access the several markets available on Nadex.

Another advantage of using Nadex is that you do not have to pay additional brokerage commissions since it is an exchange. This brings down the processing fee when you place trades.

Traders must pay a fixed fee of $1 per contract. However, if the trade expires in a loss, the exchange will waive the settlement fee.

Features like demo accounts, real-time charts with direct market access, news reporting, and the excellent leverage offered make Nadex the go-to exchange for trading binary options in the USA.

New traders can benefit from the weekly webinars, ebooks, and trading courses Nadex offers in the Learning Center.

How do Binary Options brokers in the USA make money?

Binary options brokers can make money in two different ways. First, some brokers act as counterparties or traders on which you place bets. These platforms are called OTC brokers.

All binary options trading must have two sides. One side bet on “yes” and the other side bets on “no”. Many brokers make money in the same way as traders. Some trades win and others lose. However, since these platforms often have millions of customers, their profit potential is usually higher than for regular traders.

usa binary options

Other binary options brokers make money through commissions. These brokers act as intermediaries, connecting traders depending on whether they want to buy or sell. Allocation-based platforms often hide fees within the spread of each contract or the difference between the buy and sell prices, so customers don’t notice they’re paying extra.

Commission brokers also tend to offer leverage to encourage larger trades while generating more revenue for the broker.

Best Binary Options Broker in the USA: Best Options – Nadex

Nadex differs from other binary options brokers in that it is not a broker. While brokers show asset prices and movements in various markets, Nadex is an exchange that can convert these assets, which is rare in the US.

Founded in 2004, it is the oldest platform on the CFTC regulated list. This is one of the most secure platforms to use in the US.

They don’t have complex trading platforms, but they are a great choice for beginners. We also provide a variety of training resources to help you comply with legal requirements. After all, we mentioned that binary options are considered an aspect of American gambling. This is why many exchanges like Nadex provide their traders with trading data.

nadex binary options

In general, if you are looking for a variety of asset types or options, Nadex will disappoint you. They have only 29 assets and do not have a mobile trading app, unlike other brokers on the list. However, account types are unique:

  • Individual (US and International only): Only US and International accounts give you access to all your assets without any special trading capabilities beyond that.
  • Companies: Nadex allows you to link your account to a partnership, LLC, company or other company.
  • Free Demo: If you don’t want to trade real binary options, you can leave a demo account with $25,000 in virtual funds.

If you’re looking for something a little more immersive or detailed, Nadex isn’t for you. However, if you are a beginner jumping into the binary options pool, it might be a good place to start.

Factors to consider when choosing a binary options platform

You can find dozens of binary options platforms online. Some websites are safe and reliable, but there are also many dangerous websites that can operate illegally.

Consider how each of these factors affects your decision when looking for the best binary options trading platform.

Investment assets

In binary options trading, the underlying asset is the financial instrument you invest in. Most trading platforms offer a variety of underlying assets. Some of the most common markets are cryptocurrencies, commodities, foreign exchange, indices, and stocks.

If you have a specific underlying asset in mind, look for a broker that specializes in your favorite area. Or you can take full advantage of the platform with dozens of products available.

Maximum fee

Some binary options brokers set limits on the amount that can be withdrawn from each payment, such as $1,000 or $10,000. The maximum payout is only 85% or 90% of the total return, as other brokers take commissions from both payments of the trade.

When looking for the best binary options broker, think about how the best website payments can affect the end result. Some platforms resist low deposits or other benefits, while others take more money than it’s worth.

Minimum Deposit

Binary options brokers usually offer a minimum deposit for each trading account. This amount can range from a few dollars to hundreds of dollars depending on the specific policies of the platform.

If you are trading binary options for the first time or not sure if there is a risk of more than $100, look for a website with a lower minimum deposit. However, if you want to pay higher, we recommend choosing a platform with a minimum deposit.

In any case, it is best not to force the trading platform to spend more money than you are comfortable with. If your website’s minimum deposit is too high, look for another platform.

Practice (demo) Account

Practice accounts are useful for users who are still learning binary options trading information. Many brokers allow you to test binary options trading with virtual currencies by creating a free demo account. You can use this account to see how your choices affect your win or loss, which will help you feel more confident before spending real money.

nadex demo account

Practice accounts also allow you to try several binary options brokers before choosing one. Before creating a paid trading account, you can use a demo account to better understand the details of each platform, user interface, technical indicators and risk management options.

Country restrictions

Binary options trading is a highly regulated form of investment and some countries have special rules for citizen participation. Many brokers do not work in the US because of US trade rules. The UK also regulates trading options through the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

When looking for the best binary options broker, make sure the trading platform you visit is available in your country. Don’t try to circumvent country restrictions with VPNs, etc. This can cause problems with the law.

Deposit method

Providing information to your bank or credit card account is risky and you should always check that the broker uses a secure payment method before proceeding. Binary options brokers must indicate in advance how to deposit, such as credit or debit cards, cryptocurrencies, e-wallets or bank transfers.

When looking for the right broker, think about which payment method is right for you. And once you start trading through the platform, keep an eye on your bank account. An insecure website can initiate unauthorized withdrawals from your account.

Withdrawal speed

When you profit from binary options contracts, you want to get your money back as quickly as possible. Some brokers withdraw cash quickly, so you can get your money within 24 hours of expiry. On other websites, you may have to wait a few days before earning money.

When searching for the best binary options broker, pay attention to platform withdrawal times. If you want to make money quickly, you need to find a platform that advertises instant withdrawals.

Trading app

Some brokers offer browser platforms and applications that allow you to trade on a variety of devices. If you plan to do most of your trading on your computer, we recommend using a browser-based platform. However, if you want to verify your account anywhere or do business on your mobile device, you need to find an iOS and Android, compatible broker.

Should I use multiple brokers to trade binary options?

Creating an account with multiple brokers can be beneficial for a number of reasons. First, some brokers specialize in certain types of trades. If you plan to trade in multiple categories such as short-term trading, call options trading, and binary options, you can create an account for each type of broker.

Using multiple platforms also reduces the risk of losing all your investments at once. If it doesn’t work with a broker or it turns out to be a scam or doesn’t suit your needs, there’s no risk of losing all your money at once.

In addition, some websites offer new users a signing offer to increase their free initial deposit. Creating accounts on multiple sites and distributing money between them can be useful to take advantage of these bonuses.

However, if you decide to create an account on multiple platforms, make sure you track your activity on each platform. If you can’t remember multiple expiry dates, you may miss deadlines and lose profits, denying the benefits of using multiple brokers.

Conclusion: Binary trading is legal in the USA

Binary options trading is a quick way to earn extra money without the risks associated with other trading options. This type of trading is simpler, easier to understand, and offers faster turnaround times than other products, making it popular with traders around the world.

A binary options broker simplifies the process of buying and selling binary options. These platforms are easy to use, offer bonuses and significant rewards for account creation, and help new traders learn more about alternative trading processes before they start.

If you’re new to options trading, you won’t find a better way to enter the market than binary options. And if you are familiar with different types of trading, you may find binary options simple compared to more complex forms of trading.

Binary options trading is more tightly regulated in the United States, but that doesn’t mean it’s options-free. All brokers on this list are available to US traders under control and CFSC compliance.

Before signing up for a broker or switching to binary options trading, you should understand what that broker has to offer and the benefits it offers. You always know your reputation, so you can choose the one that suits your needs without sacrificing security.

Although US traders have few options to work with binary options brokers, they currently offer a wide variety of assets, account types, and features for optimal trading.

Choosing the regulated binary options broker covered above gives you a great chance to win your trades. Try binary trading today – it can be the perfect way to increase your income.

There is no such thing as the “ultimate” binary options trading platform, but Nadex comes close. It is established and regulated in the US, has relatively low minimum deposits, and charges more than fair commissions for the trades you open.

The availability of excellent technical indicators and features like the demo account only makes it more convenient to use.

Nadex is one brokerage we can recommend without reservations to any US trader that wants to trade binary options.

Frequently asked questions about Binary Options in the USA:

Are binary options brokers regulated?

Many binary options brokers are regulated by financial industry regulators. However, there are still many unregulated brokers in the industry. Regulators around the world have slowly caught up with the industry. Some institutions and organizations have rules. Regulators that play an important role in the United States include:
• Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
• Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)
Regulatory bodies in countries around the world include:
• Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)
• UK Financial Supervisory Service (FCA).
• Isle of Man Gambling Supervisory Commission (GSC)
• Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC)
• Malta Gambling Authority (MGA)
Now that binary options have garnered the attention of organizations, they want to take a closer look and, in many cases, tighten the rules on many online trading platforms. Despite having more control over all binary options brokers, there are unregulated brokers on the market. Some of these binary brokers may have traction, but the rules will help protect your interests, especially if you are new to binary options trading.

Do binary trading sites accept US and UK traders?

Several binary options trading platforms are currently unavailable in the US and UK. Currently, the only broker regulated in the US is Nadex. The US has stricter rules than other countries, making it more difficult for binary brokers to get approved in the US. One of the reasons the US regulations are tighter is that the government has strict laws banning online gambling. Some regulators define binary options trading as a form of gambling. However, some offshore brokers like Pocket Option and RaceOption accept traders from all over the world, including the US and UK.

Should a beginner trade binary options?

Binary options trading is a great way for beginners to immerse themselves in the trading market. Binary options are easier to understand than other markets because of their binary nature. Each game has only two options: yes and no. Binary options trading involves significant risk, but this risk is more defined than trading in other markets. You know for sure that you can win or lose in every game and you won’t lose more money than what is stated in the contract. Finally, binary options brokers help beginners learn more about the binary options market. If you are looking for options trading in an easy-to-read format, binary options are your best bet.

About the author

Percival Knight
I have been an experienced Binary Options trader for more than ten years. Mainly, I trade 60-second trades at a very high hit rate. My favorite strategies is by using candlesticks and fake-breakouts

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