FTX Reportedly Seeks Acquisitions in Brokerage Space

The crypto exchange announced its move into stock trading in the US last week


FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried | Blockworks exclusive art by axel rangel


key takeaways

  • FTX has spoken to Webull, Apex Clearing and Public.com, CNBC reported
  • Company CEO Sam Bankman-Fried previously told Blockworks he expects a wave of consolidation in the crypto space amid the bear market

Crypto exchange FTX has reportedly spoken with stock trading startups it may be interested in acquiring, as the company has revealed plans to broaden its offerings to investors. 

Sources familiar with the discussions told CNBC that the Bahamas-based firm has spoken with Webull, Apex Clearing and Public.com in recent months.

A spokesperson for FTX declined to comment.

FTX’s US affiliate unveiled its stock platform last week, allowing retail investors to trade stocks and ETFs alongside crypto and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The retail brokerage accounts can be funded with traditional dollar deposit methods, as well as with fiat-backed stablecoins.

“On any given day, a person might want to buy some bitcoin or they might want to buy some Tesla,” FTX US President Brett Harrison told Blockworks at the time. “They’re not going to want to open two different accounts…and move their savings around between two different applications to do this sort of investing.”

The reported conversations with brokerage companies also follow FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried buying a 7.6% stake in investing platform Robinhood.

Bankman-Fried told Blockworks last month that he predicts a wave of mergers and acquisitions amid the bear market. He noted that “it wouldn’t be totally shocking” for FTX to acquire some “shrinking” exchanges, noting that the company is always evaluating opportunities.

FTX US last year bought digital currency futures and options exchange LedgerX, in a move to bring crypto derivatives to its US user base. More recently, it bought a stake in stock exchange operator IEX Group in an effort to establish a simple and transparent market structure for buying and selling digital asset securities.

FTX also revealed in February it was set to acquire fintech firm Liquid Group in a bid to navigate Japan’s crypto exchange laws.

Dan Keeler contributed to this story.

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