FTX.US, the U.S. affiliate of Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency exchange FTX, saw its average daily trading volumes soar 150-fold in June compared to the same month a year before, according to the company’s mid-year results.
- The company reported that FTX.US had a daily volume that ranged between US$150 million and US$1 billion in the first six months of 2021 and reached a peak of US$993 million during a 24-hour period on April 22. In comparison, Coinbase — the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the United States — reported US$335 billion in trading volume for the first quarter of 2021, which works out to approximately US$3.7 billion per day.
- It is unclear how much of FTX’s trading volume comes from its clients or proprietary trading. According to FTX’s global volume monitor, 20.8% of reported crypto volume is fake. In a tweet last year, FTX’s CEO Sam Bankman-Fried said that “FTX doesn’t and never has faked volume. Neither have e.g. most US or Japanese exchanges.”
- Bitcoin prices peaked at US$64,804 on April 14 but fell to under US$50,000 on April 26, according to CoinGecko data.
- Other updates reported by FTX included the launch of FTX Pay in May, which allowed users to receive payments in crypto or fiat, as well as the appointment of Brett Harrison as president of FTX.US and the establishment of its Chicago office in June. Harrison, a Harvard-educated computer scientist, used to work for the quant trading firm Jane Street as a software developer when Sam Bankman-Fried, who later founded FTX and became its CEO, was working at Jane Street as a trader.
- FTX, which completed a record US$900 million Series B fundraise with US$18 billion valuation this month — has been raising its public profile through multiple sponsorships and deals, including a 19-year, $135 million deal for naming rights to the Miami Heat basketball arena, a partnership with Major League Baseball, and an equity stake partnership with American football star Tom Brady and his supermodel wife Gisele Bundchen.
- Earlier this week, FTX announced that it was rebranding its retail investor focusd portfolio tracking app Blockfolio — acquired for US$150 million last year — to “FTX” as part of a move to grow the FTX brand and integrate the app with FTX and FTX U.S. cryptocurrency exchanges.
- FTX, also this week, cut high leverage on its platform to 20x, significantly lower from 100x previously.
- The FTX Foundation Group — which consists of companies owned by Bankman-Fried — also this week announced the launch of the FTX Climate program as part of the company’s goal to become carbon neutral in 2021 as well as fund research and projects supporting carbon removal solutions.
See related article: How FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried navigates crypto trading’s new normal