FTX Trading Ltd. secured more than $420 million in funding from 69 investors, upping its valuation to $25 billion, the company announced Thursday.
The proceeds of the transaction will be put toward marketing as well as mergers and acquisitions, bolstering the company’s position as one of the top-five Bitcoin (CRYPTO: BTC) futures exchanges by volume.
Benzinga recently caught up with Tristan Yver and Nate Clancy of FTX’s U.S. affiliate FTX.US to talk about FTX’s motivations and growth initiatives in the states.
Here’s what they had to say.
Context: The affiliate of Sam Bankman-Fried’s fast-growing cryptocurrency startup, FTX.US, is a regulated exchange that offers U.S.-based clients a platform for efficient and safe access to an emerging ecosystem of digital assets.
A year or so younger than its counterpart, the entity was launched in 2020 and experienced lackluster growth at the outset.
“I think the daily volume was something like $1 million per day,” Yver, who is head of strategy at FTX.US, said. “The tables turned and teams started to be built out when Brett Harrison was brought on board.”
The arrival of the new president brought energy into the company; shortly after, the firm saw volumes hit nearly $800 million a day.
Evolution: Apart from Harrison’s addition, other accelerants to growth include spot margin trading powered by a peer-to-peer borrow-lending network, highly engaged customer service, the acquisitions of Blockfolio and LedgerX as well as deep liquidity and a robust institutional offering.
Before this, the focus of FTX.US was trading for the crypto-native public.
“We purchased Blockfolio, the most popular cryptocurrency portfolio tracking app in the world, and we integrated our trading infrastructure into the backend of that,” Yver said. “That created a very intuitive and easy-to-use cryptocurrency spot trading app.”
To market itself, the firm bought the naming rights to American Airlines Arena in Miami and garnered endorsements from the likes of Tom Brady, Steph Curry, Kevin O’Leary, and others.
Additionally, FTX.US acquired LedgerX to expand its futures and options trading offer.
Clancy, who is vice president of business development, said the initiative is aimed at building on the firm’s attraction to institutions with structured products and the like.
“There’s a lot of pent-up demand and I think it’s just a matter of unlocking that in a way that institutions feel comfortable adopting and taking the risk.”
Keeping With Trends: FTX launched a marketplace for trading Solana (CRYPTO: SOL)-based NFTs earlier this month.
The development comes as FTX.US looks to provide a regulated way for creators and customers to exchange rights to projects.
“At the moment it’s Solana only, but soon it’ll be an open marketplace for Ethereum and Solana,” Yver said.
Clancy said FTX will be launching more NFT collections through partners.
Outlook: As FTX.US looks to build and shine a light on its brand, Yver sees this as the first time a U.S.-based client can get access to an institutional-level, compliant digital asset infrastructure.
“We’re really sticky,” he said. “Every time these market cycles happen, you see a lot more people enter the space. So, maybe some of the current users will slow down a bit, but I’m sure we’ll see a lot more users.”
In terms of updates, FTX.US may allow users the ability to connect and engage over NFTs, as well as to become better educated on digital assets, broadly.
“I’m just extremely excited to see how the whole aspect of the ecosystem develops, in general,” Clancy ended.
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