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FTX takes another step towards its ultimate goal of becoming the ‘everything exchange’ by offering stock trading to its US clientele.
The US arm of popular crypto exchange FTX is launching a zero-commission stock trading service. According to a Thursday statement by FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried, the FTX.US stock trading feature will focus on the purchase and sales of regulated US equities. Furthermore, Bankman-Fried, who recently acquired a 7.6% stake in retail trading giant Robinhood, also said that FTX’s stock offering will not charge commission fees. In addition, customers will be able to fund their accounts using the leading stablecoin USD Coin (USDC).
Commenting on the FTX stock trading offer, the president of the exchange’s North American arm, Brett Harrison said:
“With the launch of FTX Stocks, we have created a single integrated platform for retail investors to easily trade crypto, NFTs, and traditional stock offerings through a transparent and intuitive user interface.”
Outlook of FTX.US Venture into Stock Trading
The FTX.US move into regulated securities represents the first of its kind, as the Bahamian-based crypto exchange looks to diversify product offerings. According to a press release, featured stocks will be available through the FTX US mobile application. In addition, the exchange also intends to offer users the opportunity to trade in numerous US-listed companies and exchange-traded funds. FTX also stated that its brokerage services for the mainstream assets will be via its FTX Capital Markets. In the press release, the company described the latter, which it quietly bought last year, as “an affiliated broker-dealer registered with the SEC and member FINRA/SIPC.”
The regulated US equities feature will initially be available to a limited number of US users. FTX set up a waiting list back in February and already has the first set of users. However, the exchange plans to eventually roll out this service to all US-based clients over the next few months. Speaking on this, Harrison explained:
“Our goal is to offer a holistic investing service for our customers across all asset classes. We would like to become the ‘everything exchange’ and the ‘everything app’ when it comes to financial services and fintech in general.”
Furthermore, Harrison suggested that FTX’s prior operational expertise in the digital currency space gave the company a comparative advantage.
“We are using the lessons learned in crypto to improve upon and, in some cases, disrupt traditional market structure,” said he.
FTX.US expansion to traditional stocks underscores Bankman-Fried’s overarching vision to venture into more tightly-regulated financial services. In addition, the announcement comes a few days after the young FTX billionaire founder forked out $648mn for a 7.6 percent stake in Robinhood. In a filing, Bankman-Fried explained that he bought into the Robinhood because of its investment appeal. Furthermore, the 30-year-old FTX founder and visionary also stated that he had no intention of “influencing the control” of the broker.
Based in the Bahamas, FTX operates one of the largest crypto exchanges in the world.