Crypto Exchange Competition Heats Up With FTX.US Growth Spurt

FTX.US’s marketing push appears to be making headway amid a broader surge in interest about cryptocurrency trading.

The U.S. affiliate of Sam Bankman-Fried’s crypto exchange FTX said Thursday its average daily volume reached new highs in the first half of the year as digital-asset prices surged, and amid a massive advertising campaign targeting retail investors. Daily volumes were between $150 million and $1 billion in the first half, according to a release. That makes it one of the largest crypto exchanges in the U.S. by volume, the company said.

Competition is fierce in the space. Users have nearly 400 exchanges to choose from -- including spot and derivatives platforms, on top of DeFi and lending ones -- according to a tally from CoinMarketCap.com.

FTX and FTX.US have announced a slew of partnerships in recent months, many of them related to sports. In June, for instance, FTX partnered with Major League Baseball and became the organization’s official crypto-exchange brand. That was followed by an announcement that celebrity super-couple Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen had taken an equity stake in the company. The pair are ambassadors for both FTX and FTX.US, FTX.US President Brett Harrison said by phone.

“We want everyone in the U.S. who would like to be able to trade crypto to know about our product and to use it,” Harrison said of the philosophy behind the company’s partnerships. “In order for people to know about us -- and about our product -- we need to become a household name.”

Huge swings in cryptocurrencies have stoked trading interest. Bitcoin more than doubled earlier in the year to a record of almost $65,000 but has now fallen back by about $25,000. Ether, the second-largest cryptocurrency, surged more than fivefold by May before tumbling, but is still up over 200% in 2021.The quick gains brought a rush of interest from both retail and institutional investors.

FTX.US, which is based in Berkeley, California, has been around for about a year. It’s owned and operated by West Realm Shires Services and is a separate exchange from FTX.com.

With $5.2 billion in 24-hour trading volume, FTX ranks as the world’s fifth-biggest Bitcoin futures exchange after Binance, Bybit and others, according to data from Skew.com, which is owned by Coinbase Global Inc., a publicly traded exchange.

Bankman-Fried is an owner in both companies and the internationally-focused firm has also seen tremendous growth in recent months. Bloomberg News reported earlier this month that FTX had completed a new fundraising round that valued the company at $18 billion.

Harrison added that his firm has a number of other long-term strategy initiatives underway. He hopes the platform will soon be able to offer trading of more traditional assets like stocks.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

BQ Install

Bloomberg Quint

Add BloombergQuint App to Home screen.