Cryptocurrency exchange giant FTX.US has made a strategic investment in regulated national equities exchange IEX Group.
FTX wants to continue solidifying its place in global digital asset markets, and sees IEX as a way to improve market structure for investors in a compliant and trusted manner, according to a statement Tuesday.
The size of FTX’s investment wasn’t disclosed, but an FTX spokesperson told CoinDesk it will become a “significant” shareholder of IEX. The deal is expected to close in May, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approval.
“With this investment, we’re aligned with one of the most trusted and innovative companies in equities markets,” FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried said in the statement. He added the two companies will “collaborate on the further establishment of crypto market structure and work closely with regulators, allowing institutions around the world to enter the marketplace seamlessly."
IEX Group operates Investors Exchange LLC, which along with Katsuyama became known after being featured in Michael Lewis’ best-selling book “Flash Boys” in 2014, which detailed high-frequency trading’s impact on financial markets.
Katsuyama said IEX is well aligned with FTX and its vision to aid investors while also working closely with regulators to scale the digital asset industry. “The U.S. market should be the largest player in digital assets globally and we believe that this partnership will help facilitate that,” he said in the release.
Bankman-Fried has been a proponent of tighter crypto regulation in the U.S., saying it would be healthy for the market and investors. FTX’s derivatives unit recently asked the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to allow the trading platform to clear margin derivatives trades directly for customers.
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