Futu Holdings Ltd., the fast-growing Chinese brokerage and Robinhood rival, plans to offer cryptocurrency trading to “international clients” later this year, according to executives.
Speaking on Futu’s Q1 earnings call Wednesday, Senior Vice President Robin Li Xu said the Tencent-backed trading firm has begun applying for “digital currency–related licenses” in the U.S., Singapore and Hong Kong.
During the earnings call, the Nasdaq-listed Futu, which had not previously disclosed its crypto offering, didn't elaborate on what the new trading service would look like. Xu said the feature should launch in the second half of 2021.
China remains a definite no-go zone for Futu’s crypto trading, however.
“What we know for sure is that we will not offer digital currency trading services to mainland China users,” Xu said. Chinese regulators had reiterated the country’s years-long crypto ban one day prior.
Crypto trading would add another weapon to Futu’s already supercharged financial services arsenal, alongside stock trading and wealth management.
Drawing comparisons to Robinhood, the firm tripled its revenue in Q1 and grew its user base 70%. Futu now has over 14 million users.
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.