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Title: FTX reportedly shopping for brokerages in preparation for stock trading

May 24, 2022 03:51AM ET

By: AnalysisWatch

The crypto-derivatives exchange and non-fungible token (NFT) platform FTX are reportedly in the market for brokerage startups as part of its recently announced plans to expand support for equity trading.

The company announced last Thursday that its U.S.-based subsidiary FTX.US will introduce commission-free equity trading through its application, allowing users to fund their accounts with fiat-backed stablecoins.

According to a report by CNBC on Monday—which cited sources who did not want to be named because the talks were confidential—the company has held private meetings with at least three brokerage startups in recent months regarding possible acquisitions.

The three companies named were Webull, Apex Clearing, and All parties, as well as FTX, have not yet commented on the rumors.

All of the firms are registered with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and are members of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), suggesting they are in good hands with watchful government agencies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

FINRA-registered firms can trade stocks on behalf of their clients and are also authorized to provide investment advice. SIPC membership means investors are financially protected if the firm fails.

At this point, it's unclear whether FTX is primarily looking for startups to support its equity-focused initiatives or if the company is also looking at larger acquisitions in the long term.

Earlier this month, FTX founder and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) filed a report with the SEC showing that he had increased his stake in popular trading platform Robinhood to 7.6% in late April for about $648.2 million.

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