Binance Takes Minority Stake in Crypto Derivatives Exchange FTX

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(Bloomberg) -- Binance Holdings Ltd., one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency-trading platforms, made a minority investment in the derivatives exchange FTX.

The investment was in the “tens of millions,” and values FTX, which debuted in May, in the “hundreds of million of dollars,” said Sam Bankman-Fried, who founded the exchange and also heads the crypto-trading firm Alameda Research.

FTX does about $500 million in daily volume, making it the world’s seventh-largest Bitcoin futures exchange, according to analytics provider Skew. Malta-based Binance is the first outside investor in FTX, Bankman-Fried said in a phone interview.

Binance Takes Minority Stake in Crypto Derivatives Exchange FTX

Futures trading volume is larger than so-called spot trading of Bitcoin and grown in importance for exchanges as most cryptocurrency prices slumped in the second half of the year. Binance entered the derivatives market this fall, and is already the world’s fourth-largest Bitcoin futures exchange, according to Skew.

“The derivatives space for crypto is very new, and we want to support multiple initiatives to grow the industry,” Changpeng Zhao, chief executive officer of Binance, said in a statement.

Binance received a “double-digit” ownership percentage in the exchange, which is incorporated in Antigua and has about 25 employees. Bankman-Fried remains FTX’s majority owner, he said.

As a part of the transaction, Binance and Alameda Research, one of the world’s largest crypto traders, will work even more closely, Bankman-Fried said. Alameda will continue to provide liquidity across Binance’s platforms. FTX and Binance will also partner on tokenizing and listing assets, he said.

“As we think down the road about a number of tokenizing projects that FTX is developing, having Binance as a partner will be super powerful,” Bankman-Fried said.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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