Crypto exchange FTX plots global expansion with launch of European arm
Crypto exchange FTX has unveiled plans to launch a new European division as it plots global expansion.
The new division, which is headquartered in Switzerland and Cyprus where it has already won approval from local regulators, is planning a charm offensive to win over financial watchdogs across Europe. FTX Europe yesterday said it will offer digital asset products and services to European clients via an investment firm which provides passportable licenses across the European economic area.
Sam Bankman-Fried, FTX’s 29-year-old founder, said, “we’re excited to launch our European operations in a regulated fashion to better serve those within the continent.
“As we continue to grow, we are constantly looking at opportunities to become appropriately licensed in every market we enter,” he continued, confirming the firm will actively engage with regulators across Europe.
The new division will also enable the firm to pivot towards markets in the Middle East, according to a company statement. Patrick Gruhn will take over as the new chief of FTX Europe.
The expansion push comes after FTX raised $400m in a bumper January fundraising round, taking the firm’s valuation to an eye-watering $32bn. Its US division alone was valued at $8bn.
In a sign the firm has cash to splash FTX announced the launch of a $2bn venture capital fund to support the growth of companies developing crypto, blockchain and web3 projects.
The company has also pursued a high profile marketing strategy, snapping up the naming rights to the Miami Heat Stadium and securing its place as the official crypto exchange sponsor of Major League Baseball. The exchange, which boasts a user base of over 1m, even attempted to propel crypto into the mainstream with an advert at the US Super Bowl featuring comedian Larry David.
The emphasis placed on compliance in today’s announcement follows recent scrutiny on crypto firms by regulators amid concerns Russian individuals are evading sanctions using digital assets. Bankman-Fried, the 75th richest person in the world, told CNBC that the firm is in “constant contact” with the relevant authorities.
Read more: Exclusive: crypto exchange FTX lifts lid on new gaming division