The crypto trading exchange and NFT platform FTX is reportedly on the lookout for brokerages in preparation for stock trading. FTX has previously revealed its plans to move into stock trading and is now looking to acquire brokerage startups.
The firm has begun sourcing startups for acquisition as it looks to expand its business portfolio into the equity market. Its U.S.-based company, FTX.US, is launching a zero-commission equity trading program through its mobile app. Users can fund their wallets using fiat-pegged stablecoins.
A May 23 report from a news outlet, CNBC, revealed that the company had held meetings with brokerage unicorns. At least three companies were involved in the discussions, which may lead to future acquisitions.
As disclosed by CNBC, the three companies are Webull, Public.com, and Apex Clearing. However, all the parties involved did not provide any statements about the meeting outcome.
Meanwhile, all the said firms are duly registered with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Additionally, they are also registered members of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC).
This suggests that the startups comply with regulators’ guidelines like the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
The Importance of FINRA and SIPC Membership
Firms registered with FINRA can trade in stocks on behalf of their clients and are qualified to issue investment advice. On the other hand, membership in SIPC implies that investors’ funds are protected in case of bankruptcy.
However, it is still early to say what the decision of FTX is at the moment. There have been rumors that FTX may be looking for startup firms to oversee its stock services. It might be that the company is looking to acquire stock brokerage firms in the long run.
Speculations about FTX’s founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, began making the rounds after submitting a filing to the SEC. The new filing shows he has increased his stakes in Robinhood to 7.6% in April.
Sam Bankman-Fried has previously announced that FTX is a growth-based firm and that further expansion is in the pipeline. The CEO noted that FTX is poised for more ambitious growth to rival investment banking giant Goldman Sachs.
Similarly, FTX is interested in acquiring the popular retail trading platform, Robinhood. But the lack of adequate capital curtailed the move. Bankman-Fried is confident that the company can still achieve its vision in the coming years.
Meanwhile, it is worth noting that the SEC filings do not offer much information relating to FTX’s CEO’s push to acquire Robinhood. Instead, the document described the stake acquisition as an excellent investment strategy.
According to the filings submitted to the SEC, the shares are held as investments. It is not an indication of a potential takeover or a change in the company’s direction.
Bankman-Fried has been the most significant contributor to the success of FTX as a digital asset trading platform. The CEO has initiated many moves that pushed the company to where it is presently.