Crypto giant FTX invests in ‘Flash Boys’ exchange IEX

abdelaziz Fathi

The US-based affiliate of Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX crypto exchange is now an investor in New York City-based IEX Group, the eighth largest stock exchange operator globally.

FTX

FTX US took a bet and made a strategic investment in IEX Group as it aims to leverage its expertise and infrastructure to establish a regulated marketplace for buying, selling, and trading digital asset securities.

Details of the investment, including its size and value, were not disclosed. The deal is expected to close next month, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approval.

FTX.US, an affiliate of cryptocurrency exchange FTX, has seen its valuation climb to $8 billion following the successful closing of Series A funding worth $400 million. The parent company, FTX Trading, was recently valued at $32 billion.

The fresh capital injection came on the heels of FTX launching a non-fungible (NFT) marketplace exclusively for customers living in the United States. The platform enables users to mint, buy and sell NFTs — all traded cross-chain across the Ethereum and Solana blockchains.

FTX.US also acquired Ledger Holdings Inc., parent company of a CFTC-regulated digital currency futures and options exchange, which was then rebranded as FTX US Derivatives.

Sam Bankman-Fried, CEO of FTX and FTX US, commented: “With this investment, we’re aligned with one of the most trusted and innovative companies in equities markets. I’ve long respected Brad’s vision for IEX to be an exchange that caters to the needs of the investor and treats them fairly – part of the reason why we’ve operated similarly at FTX. As a result, we will collaborate on the further establishment of crypto market structure and work closely with regulators, allowing institutions around the world to enter the marketplace seamlessly.”

“Flash Boys” has been a huge positive for IEX

IEX Exchange has been aiming to draw in more business from retail investors, and in the process the upstart trading platform convened regular meetings with many brokerages. The exchange operator, which was the subject of Michael Lewis’ 2014 book “Flash Boys”, obtained SEC’s approval to register as the 13th national securities exchange earlier in June 2016.

Unlike other exchanges, the heart of IEX’s strategy is based on what the firm calls a ‘speed bump’ which slows down trading, requiring all trades to go past by 350 microseconds in a bid to prevent high-frequency traders from racing ahead of slower investors to take advantages of changes in bids and offers before they update.

“To unlock its full potential, the crypto and digital asset industry needs to engage with regulators and truly scale what has been built,” said CEO and Co-Founder of IEX, Brad Katsuyama. “From the first conversation with Sam, it was clear to me that FTX and IEX were truly aligned on the future potential for digital assets and the unique roles our firms could play as partners in shaping market structure that benefits the end investor. We both see the regulators as important allies in providing a clear path forward and attaining the highest possible standards for investor protection.”

  • Read this next

    Retail FX

    Weekly Roundup: John Oliver rips into MetaTrader, Binance to pay $10 billion

    Welcome to this week’s roundup, where we delve into the latest developments in the Forex, Fintech, and cryptocurrency markets. Stay ahead of the curve with our comprehensive overview of the week’s most impactful events and trends across these dynamic sectors.

    Retail FX

    Lark Funding reopens to US traders, MyFundedFX picks cTrader

    Canada-based prop trading firm Lark Funding announced it will once again welcome clients from the United States.

    Institutional FX

    Cboe FX volume falls to lowest level since summer

    Cboe’s institutional spot FX platform, known as Cboe Spot, today announced its trading volume for the month ending February 2024, which took a step back after a strong rebound in December.

    Retail FX

    ThinkMarkets secures lucrative DFSA license in Dubai

    Melbourne-based broker ThinkMarkets has secured a license from the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) after it has already incorporated its new subsidiary in the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC).

    Digital Assets

    New Horizen Lays Out Its Vision Of A Modular, Proof Verification Layer For Web3 Networks

    Horizen is forging a new path for the future of blockchain with its New Horizen initiative, which is building a modular Proof Verification layer that’s dedicated to verifying cryptographic proofs for any settlement layer, beginning with Ethereum. 

    Digital Assets

    Karma3 Labs Raises a $4.5M Seed Round Led By Galaxy and IDEO CoLab to Build OpenRank, a Decentralized Reputation Protocol

    Using OpenRank, developers and web3 companies can build consumer apps where people can discover, use, fund, read, or buy something on-chain without worrying about getting spammed or scammed.

    Digital Assets

    Worldcoin down as Elon Musk sues OpenAI CEO Sam Altman

    Worldcoin’s (WLD) token dropped following news of a lawsuit against related company OpenAI. The lawsuit was filed by Elon Musk and accused OpenAI and CEO Sam Altman of breach of contract.

    Institutional FX

    Exegy’s Liquidity Lamp adds intraday data to outperform S&P 500 by 31.8%

    Exegy has incorporated intraday signals into its AI-powered iceberg order detection tool, Liquidity Lamp. By adding intraday data to a baseline mean reversion strategy, Exegy’s model outperformed the baseline by 10.5% and the S&P 500 (SPY) by 31.8%, respectively in the out-of-sample testing.

    Industry News

    Think Elon Musk backed your crypto exchange? ASIC’s latest reveal may shock you

    In an absolutely shocking turn of events that nobody could have possibly seen coming, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has bravely stepped forward to reveal that, yes, those videos of Elon Musk passionately endorsing a cryptocurrency exchange are as fake as a three-dollar bill.

    <