Crypto Entrepreneurs Seize on Reddit Revolt Ethos to Sway Users

Crypto entrepreneurs are moving quickly to launch products to emulate the adrenaline-charged rush that lured many in the WallStreetBets crowd to stock markets.

FTX Cryptocurrency Derivatives Exchange announced in a blog post that they have launched trading for a basket of WallStreetBets favorites. Companies included in the index are some of Reddit crowd’s most-beloved stocks, including GameStop Corp., AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc., Nokia Oyj and BlackBerry Ltd. The exchange will also offer exposure to iShares Silver Trust.

Sam Bankman-Fried, FTX’s chief executive officer and one of the largest crypto traders, even chimed in on Twitter about his take on the GameStop saga in response to a post by billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban.

Bittrex Global Ltd., on Friday, also said it has listed tokenized stocks for similar names. The company said it will add additional stocks should other firms restrict them from their platforms.

“We intend to list every stock that gets delisted from platforms like Robinhood, so that even small investors have the same opportunities afforded to multibillion-dollar financial institutions,” said Bittrex Global CEO Tom Albright in a statement. “The current situation feeds into the narrative that the financial system is rigged against the little guy. We believe blockchain, decentralization, and cryptocurrencies will finally put retail investors on a more equal footing with financial institutions who have been gaming the markets for decades.”

Though not all industry participants agree. While these types of investments could offer possible solutions for a myriad of issues in the space, they need time to develop and rolling them out too quickly could prove to be folly.

It’s “pie-in-the-sky overreactions to recent events,” said Aaron Brown, a Bloomberg Opinion writer and a crypto investor. “Longer-term, I think tokenizing and single-stock futures and active-basket futures are intriguing solutions to a number of issues, including GME-style volatility. But they’re complicated fixes that will take a lot of design and infrastructure work, not fire extinguishers to be rushed into service in panic.”

Newbie investors may have been enticed by Bitcoin’s more than 16% surge Friday, but those gains eroded through the day as the U.S. equity market slumped.

Meanwhile, more crypto firms are piling in on opportunities to give retail traders exposure to their beloved stocks. Justin Sun, founder of the cryptocurrency platform TRON (TRX), tweeted his support Friday saying that he plans to purchase $10 million in GameStop.

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