, 2022-05-19 06:00:40,
Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX cryptocurrency exchange signalled its determination to expand “across all asset classes” as it launched a US equities trading service that will accept payments in some stablecoins as well as US dollars.
The US arm of FTX set the stage for the move by quietly buying a regulated broker-dealer last year. Starting Thursday, it said “select US customers” chosen from a waiting list set up in February will be able to use FTX US to buy stocks and exchange traded funds, as well as digital assets.
The expansion underscores the scope of Bankman-Fried’s ambitions and his willingness to enter financial services that are more tightly regulated than the crypto markets where the 30-year-old FTX founder has made billions.
“Our goal is to offer a holistic investing service for our customers across all asset classes,” said Brett Harrison, FTX US president.
“We would like to become the ‘everything exchange’ and the ‘everything app’ when it comes to financial services and fintech in general,” Harrison added. “We are using the lessons learned in crypto to improve upon and, in some cases, disrupt traditional market structure.”
The announcement came only days after it was revealed that Bankman-Fried had paid $648mn for a 7.6 per cent stake in Robinhood, an online retail brokerage that also deals in stocks and cryptos. He said in a filing that he bought the shares because they were an “attractive investment” and that he had no intention of “influencing the control” of the broker.
Harrison said FTX could be seen as a competitor of Robinhood, having spent “a long time” studying its business model to “see if there are elements to emulate or improve upon”.
For now, FTX Stocks, as the new offering is known, will charge no…
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