The US branch of cryptocurrency exchange FTX is expanding into equities, the latest indication that brokerages are pursuing a strategy that would allow regular investors to trade a wider range of assets at a time when volumes have plummeted.
The business announced Thursday that it has begun testing equities trading with a sample of consumers selected from a waiting list. FTX Stocks, which will be integrated with FTX’s crypto trading platform, will allow users to buy and sell stocks such as Apple AAPL +0.17% (ticker: AAPL) and Tesla TSLA –6.42% (TSLA), as well as exchange-traded funds and hundreds of other U.S. assets, alongside Bitcoin and Dogecoin. For some securities, fractional share trading will be permitted.
In a statement, FTX.US President Brett Harrison said, “Our objective is to deliver a comprehensive investment experience for our consumers across all asset classes.” “Through a clear and easy user interface, we have established a single integrated platform for retail investors to seamlessly trade crypto, NFTs, and regular stock offerings.”
The US has stated that it would not be paid for order flow, a contentious method through which brokers like Robinhood Markets HOOD –1.27% (HOOD) subsidize free trading by routing orders through third-party trading businesses rather than stock exchanges. According to regulatory filings, earlier this month, FTX co-founder and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried purchased a 7.6% share in Robinhood.
“A new retail investing experience that delivers complete order routing transparency to clients and does not rely on payment for order flow is clearly in demand,” Harrison added.
The United States defies the trend of traditional financial brokerages entering the cryptocurrency market. In April, Robinhood made crypto trading available to more than two million customers, and Interactive Brokers (IBKR) is making a similar push into the realm of digital assets.
Instead, FTX is a crypto-native company that is branching out into traditional finance. It’s not the first time: last month, FTX purchased a share in IEX Group, the operator of a US-regulated securities exchange.