Salem Radio Network News Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Science

Crypto exchange FTX US valued at $8 billion as first fundraise draws SoftBank, Temasek

By Hannah Lang

(Reuters) -Cryptocurrency exchange FTX US said on Wednesday it was valued at $8 billion after raising $400 million in its first funding round from investors including Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp and Singapore’s Temasek Holdings.

The Series A funding also includes investments from crypto investment firm Paradigm, Multicoin Capital, Tribe Capital, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board, Greenoaks Capital, Steadview Capital and Lightspeed Venture Partners, among others, the company said in a statement.

“What this raise means to us is that we are officially establishing ourselves on the stage of the largest competitors of cryptocurrency exchanges in the U.S., and signaling to the world that we are going to continue to expand very rapidly,” FTX US President Brett Harrison said.

With the cryptocurrency market growing, surpassing $3 trillion in November, venture capital investors are increasingly looking to put down stakes in the industry.

Venture capital firms invested $30 billion in crypto in 2021, according to research firm PitchBook.

Chicago-based FTX US was launched in 2020 by former Wall Street high frequency trading executives, and it competes with leading crypto exchanges Coinbase and Binance.

In October, FTX US acquired LedgerX in a move to expand into crypto futures and options trading.

FTX US had an average daily volume of about $360 million in the third quarter, according to the company. Its users increased by 52% quarter over quarter, though the company has declined to share how many users it has overall.

FTX US said it intends to use the funds to grow its user base and launch new business lines, and will also consider strategic investments and acquisitions.

It also plans to expand its 100-strong staff, said Harrison, who previously worked at Citadel Securities.

“By having this capital, we’re able to go out and be competitive and hire the best people,” he said.

(Reporting by Hannah Lang in Washington; Editing by Himani Sarkar and Cynthia Osterman)

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