Reports suggest that FTX, a crypto derivatives exchange, and NFT platform, has met at least three brokerage startups regarding potential acquisitions over the last three months amid its plan to roll out stock trading services.
Last Thursday, the firm had announced that its US-based subsidiary, FTX.US, would launch a zero-commission stock trading through its mobile. It would allow users to fund their accounts with fiat-backed stablecoins.
In a Monday report from CNBC, the business has held private discussions with at least three brokerage firms over the past few months discussing potential acquisitions, citing people who “requested not to be named because the purchase talks were confidential.”
Webull, Apex Clearing, and Public.com were explicitly mentioned. All parties involved, including FTX, have yet to respond to the rumors, said CNBC.
All of these companies are members of SIPC, Securities Investor Protection Corporation, and registered with the FINRA, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. It implies that they are on good terms with government bodies, including watchdogs like the SEC, Securities and Exchange Commission.
FINRA-registered companies can trade stocks on behalf of their clients and provide investment advice, while SIPC membership ensures that investors are financially protected if the firm fails.
It is unclear if FTX is solely interested in startups to support its stock-focused operations or if the company is also interested in larger acquisitions in the long run.
FTX Founder Acquiring Robinhood Stakes
However, such speculation started to swirl around earlier this month when FTX founder and CEO SBF, Sam Bankman-Fried, increased its stake in Robinhood. SBF had submitted a filing to the SEC, where he showed an increase of stake in the popular retail trading platform to 7.6% for about 648.2 million USD in late April.
According to Yahoo Finance, Robinhood’s current market valuation is $8.4 billion, implying that FTX would have to pay out huge funds to acquire the company.
SBF has previously stated that if FTX maintains a strong upward growth trajectory, bold acquisitions on the scale of Goldman Sachs “is not out of the question.”
The SEC filing doesn’t disclose much, as it states that SBF has no plans to participate actively in Robinhood. Instead, the purchase was described as an “attractive investment” to HODL.
The statement in the filing read, “The reporting persons plan to hold the shares as an investment and do not currently intend to take any action to change or influence the issuer’s control, or participate in any transaction having that purpose or effect.”