FTT hit $66.08 after markets opened in the U.S. on Wednesday, according to data from Messari. With a market capitalization of $6.19 billion, FTT is the second-largest centralized exchange token, only behind Binance’s BNB.
The pending acquisition of LedgerX positions FTX.US to offer crypto futures, swaps, puts and calls to retail traders. It’s the latest sign of the growing ambitions of Sam Bankman-Fried’s Hong Kong-based crypto empire.
“There’s probably some momentum [because] we’re making quite a few strategic acquisitions at the moment,” Jonathan Cheesman, head of over-the-counter and institutional sales at FTX, told CoinDesk.
LedgerX has several key licenses allowing it to offer bitcoin and ether derivatives in the U.S., making it easier and faster for FTX to enter the U.S. market with such products. Founded in 2017, FTX is known globally for its crypto derivatives.
Cheesman also said FTX has benefited from rising concerns around some of its competitors.
Without mentioning the specific exchanges, Cheesman said one of the exchanges has been “under the spotlight” over regulatory concerns. (We’ll name it for him: Binance.)
Meanwhile, Chinese crypto exchanges including Huobi and OKEx have tightened their derivatives rules amid China’s renewed efforts to rein in crypto trading.
It all points to why FTT may be surging: Traders see such tokens as a way to bet on an exchange’s growth.
“We’ve kind of had a bit of gain from each,” Cheesman said.
According to data from the Coinbase-owned Skew, FTX is the No. 3 crypto exchange by bitcoin futures open interest, just behind Binance and Bybit.
On the bitcoin spot market, FTX has also gained market share against its more well-known and established competitors such as Binance and Coinbase.
Data from blockchain data firm Kaiko shows that since November 2020, on a percentage basis, FTX’s bitcoin spot volume versus the total volume has surged from 2.5% to 15.5%, an indication that the exchange known for its derivatives products has also attracted many traders to its spot market.
“FTX Global currently does not service U.S. traders but the exchange’s U.S. affiliate is aggressively ramping up marketing efforts, partnerships and regulatory relationships, which could pose a strong competitive threat to Coinbase,” Kaiko wrote in its weekly report dated Aug. 30.
FTX raised the largest funding round in crypto history in July with a $900 million Series B round.
“Binance still reigns supreme in global spot markets,” Kaiko wrote in its report, “but as we know by now in the rapidly shifting crypto industry, exchange dominance is tenuous.”
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