Crypto exchange FTX is getting into stock trading

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It will first be available to a small number of people in the United States.

FTX, a cryptocurrency exchange, has announced that traditional stock trading would soon be available alongside its crypto products (via The Wall Street Journal).
The feature is presently available to a small number of customers in the United States, but it will be expanded to more traders in the coming months.

FTX claims to offer commission-free trading on “hundreds of US exchange-listed assets,” including common stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs).
Customers will be able to deposit money into their accounts using credit cards, ACH transfers, and wire transfers.
FTX also claims to be the first exchange to allow customers to deposit fiat-backed stablecoins like USDC into their accounts.
Stablecoins’ prices aren’t intended to vary as much as other cryptocurrencies because they’re tied to a currency or commodity, but a recent drop in the wider crypto market has put some stablecoins in trouble.

Instead of adopting the payment for order flow (PFOF) technique used by Robinhood and other exchanges, FTX intends to route orders directly through the Nasdaq exchange.
Brokerages are compensated for sending orders to market makers under PFOF, a practise that critics believe could create a conflict of interest because brokers may wish to route orders to institutions that will boost their earnings.
Following last year’s GameStop stock jump, the practise was called into question.

“With the launch of FTX Stocks, we have built a single integrated platform for retail investors to trade crypto, NFTs, and traditional stock offerings through a transparent and straightforward user interface,” said Brett Harrison, FTX’s US president.

Users can trade stocks and crypto on Robinhood, the Block-owned Cash App, and Public.com; adding FTX to the mix will allow it to compete directly with each platform.
Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of FTX, announced earlier this month that he had purchased a 7.6% stake in Robinhood, making him the company’s third-largest shareholder.
Bankman-Fried stated in his 13D filing that he had no plans to buy the company at this time, but as the Wall Street Journal points out, this type of form is often filed by an investor wanting to buy more stock or conduct a takeover.

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