This Wednesday (26), FTX US, the American division of the ascendant cryptocurrency exchange FTX, announced that it has raised US$ 400 million in a “series A” funding round (when a company already demonstrates its growth and generation potential. of revenue). The American subsidiary is valued at US$ 8 billion.
The round included investors such as Paradigm, Temasek, Multicoin Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners and SoftBank Vision Fund 2, among others.
This funding comes three months after its parent company FTX raised $420.69 million in October 2021 and is valued at $25 billion.
In December, the website The Information reported that FTX was aiming to raise a total of $1.5 billion between its global and US businesses in a bid that would value FTX at $32 billion and FTX US at $8 billion.
While FTX US’s valuation has been confirmed, FTX has yet to announce any other funding beyond its US division.
Brett Harrison, president of FTX US told the Decrypt that the American brokerage began 2021 with around 10,000 clients and an average of US$1 million in daily traded spot volume.
It ended the year with 1.2 million users and about $350 million in daily trading volume, according to Harrison.
“We grew wildly from nothing, from relative obscurity to the fourth or fifth largest exchange in the US in a very short period of time, while rising in a very competitive environment of Coinbase, Kraken – these big companies that are 10 years old,” he said.
The exchange plans to use the newly raised capital to further boost its user base, whether through investing in its own products or digital marketing, along with hiring additional top talent.
Harrison stated that FTX US could explore other strategic acquisitions, either to secure licenses for new business (as FTX did with derivatives platform LedgerX) or to reach more customers (such as acquiring the Blockfolio app).
The future of FTX
Harrison cited FTX NFTs, his marketplace for non-fungible tokens (or NFTs) built on Solana and Ethereum and launched in October, as a key factor in gaining new customers.
He described NFTs as a “great integration tool” that brings people into cryptocurrencies who might not understand the nuances of blockchain networks or token economies, but are interested in art and digital collectibles.
In December, the sale of NFTs from National Basketball Association USA (or NBA) player and FTX global ambassador Steph Curry resulted in the most traffic FTX US has ever seen, Harrison said.
Going forward, FTX US intends to expand its derivatives offering – Harrison noted that only 2% of crypto derivatives trading takes place on US platforms.
FTX US aims to launch crypto margin, futures and options trading for retail traders in 2022. “There is a huge, untapped market here in the US for this type of trading,” he explained.
The goal is to be a one stop shop for everything that involves trading, both cryptocurrencies and other products.
In addition to expanding its derivative offerings (which also include equity index futures and fixed income futures), FTX will also launch the stock trading.
Furthermore, as Amy Wu, leader of the new FTX Ventures fund, recently told Decrypt, FTX US sees a huge opportunity to provide the infrastructure for crypto gaming with NFTs.
Harrison believes that providing a comprehensive platform for both cryptocurrency trading and other financial trades is critical to keeping users in the ecosystem and preventing them from looking elsewhere to trade.
“If someone wants to invest in crypto and equities, but those services are in two different places, then that means you need to move money through the traditional financial system to these different accounts or apps,” he said. “That can generate a lot of wear and tear.”
It may seem like a lot to take in, but given the expansion plans, FTX US has more than one rival in sight: “Our goal in 2022 is to become a formidable competitor to Coinbase, Robinhood, CME and OpenSea,” Harrison said.
*Translated and edited by Daniela Pereira do Nascimento with permission from Decrypt.co.