Sources indicate that FTX is quietly pursuing brokerage start-ups to grow into stock trading.
As part of its recently stated plans to support stock trading inclusions, crypto derivatives exchange and non-fungible token (NFT) platform FTX is purportedly looking for brokerage start-ups to acquire.
FTX.US, the company’s US-based subsidiary, announced on Thursday that it will begin offering zero-commission stock trading through its app. This will allow users to fund their accounts using fiat-backed stablecoins.
Several sources who asked to remain anonymous since the sales talks were exclusive told CNBC on Monday that the company has been in private discussions with at least three brokerage firms about the acquisition move over the past few months.
Apex Clearing, Public.com, and Webull made the list of notable mentions and FTX has yet to reply to the reports and neither has the other quoted startups.
As bonafide Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) members, all of the firms are in good standing with government watchdogs including the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). This will make the acquisition if finalized be a good one for FTX.
While FTX may be interested in new companies to help fund its stock-focused operations, it remains unclear whether the company has long-term acquisition goals.
FTX CEO, Sam Bankman-Fried recently acquired a stake in Robinhood, a notable stock trading platform. This spurred suspicions about the deal as he indicated an increase in his investment in Robinhood to 7.6 percent for about $648.2 million in late April.
While Bankman-Fried regulatory filing considered Robinhood as an “attractive investment” with no plans to acquire the company or make changes, the paperwork aroused some eyebrows as many considered the investment as a potential acquisition move, comparable to Elon Musk’s Twitter move.