The Moon Shot: FTX Crypto Derivatives Exchange Targets Retail with $150 Million Acquisition of Blockfolio


Cryptocurrency exchange FTX that offers derivatives and options has acquired the popular portfolio tracking app Blockfolio for $150 million, paid in a combination of cash, crypto, and stock.

While FTX is for professional traders that let you trade on the futures market, Blockfolio is a consumer app which has been downloaded more than 6 million times on Android and iOS.

Blockfolio that previously raised $17 million from Pantera Capital, Founder Fund, DCM Ventures, Dan Matuszewski, Hashkey Digital Asset Group, and others, lets one add their portfolio of cryptos to track their value and automate the process by connecting the app with exchange accounts.

With this move, FTX is planning to attract retail customers, and both the parties are already working on a Blockfolio-branded trading product.

Sharp Growth

Ever since its launch in the spring of 2019, the Antigua and Barbuda-headquartered FTX has been growing at a fast pace, which ranks first by liquidity and fifth as per 24 hours volume, according to CryptoWatch.

Sharing with its audience how FTX has reached here, the company CEO, Sam Bankman-Fried, who also runs quant trading firm Alameda Research said the exchange has grown “slowly but exponentially” from just $100k in trading volume in the first few days of the launch.

“We had our first $1m day in April, our first $100m day June, and our first $1b day in September,” he said.

A year after FTX came, the company launched FTX US, and then this year, they launched Serum, the decentralized derivatives platform. Recently, the company also hired Robinhood’s former head of cryptos as the COO.

Going Further

Now, the company has completed the sixth-largest acquisition ever in the crypto sector. Binance’s $400 million deal with CoinMarketCap has been the largest one that ties with Circle’s takeover of Poloniex in 2018 and NXMH taking an 80% stake in Bitstamp.

While most of the crypto community is supportive and excited about the launch, some are also drawing the comparison with Binance’s CMC deal which was a conflict of interest and as one trader said,

“You think Robinhood selling flow is shady? Blockfolio partnering with FTX_Official makes that look like child's play.”

According to forex broker, CME Prime, the big difference here is while Binance was already a retail dominant liquidity hub, FTX is popular with the pro crowd, and Blockfolio will help them gain the new “smaller, retail” user base which has been “confused and or scared off from FTX and it’s max leverage slider bar.” CMS Prime is an early investor in Blockfolio, owns Serum and FTT and trades on FTX.

Trader Qiao Wang says it ultimately boils down to FTT mooning as even Serum flow will route to FTX with Alameda Research likely to be the main market makers on this platform.

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