After last week’s Tether and Bitfinex debacle that was cause for some concern, this week started off with some positive news for crypto faithful.
According to Bloomberg, E*Trade Financial – a leading brokerage firm with over 4 million customers – is ready to offer trading services for Bitcoin and Ethereum, with plans to potentially list more cryptocurrencies in the future. The firm is in the final stages of finalizing a custody partner for holding the private keys, after which E*Trade customers can start trading in Bitcoin and Ethereum. The foray of a traditional brokerage services firm (in addition to pioneering Fidelity of course) into cryptocurrencies is a key validation for the long-term value proposition that cryptocurrencies offer and the belief that institutions have in the future of cryptocurrencies.
For a majority of this decade, the infrastructure component of the crypto ecosystem, especially Trading, has been primarily supported by crypto-native firms such as Coinbase, Gemini, etc. However, over the past year and a half, we are witnessing more and more traditional financial institutions express launching crypto services to complement their existing businesses. Just a few days ago, another leading brokerage firm TD Ameritrade confirmed that they were testing crypto trades on their platform before opening them up for all of their customers. In addition, TD Ameritrade, along with Fidelity, is also a leading investor in ErisX, which is building a derivatives exchange for cryptocurrencies. Stock trading app Robinhood, which is preparing for its IPO, launched zero-commission trading cryptocurrencies in 2018 and reportedly has 5 million users trading in cryptocurrencies.
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