Sam Bankman-Fried’s cryptocurrency exchange FTX continues aggressively investing in traditional finance, with the United States-based affiliate FTX US investing in Investors Exchange (IEX), a U.S. national stock exchange.
FTX US has signed an agreement to make a strategic investment in the IEX’s operator IEX Group to jointly establish a market structure for buying, selling and trading digital asset securities, the firm announced to Cointelegraph on Tuesday.
IEX and FTX US expect to close the deal in May 2022, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approval.
A spokesperson for FTX US declined to disclose the financial terms of the partnership, noting that the investment makes FTX a significant shareholder in IEX. The representative also said that this is the first time when FTX has invested in a U.S. regulated stock exchange.
The new collaboration aims to provide services for retail and institutional investors. IEX is planning to implement its existing market structure and regulatory principles.
FTX and FTX US CEO Bankman-Fried pointed out that the collaboration with IEX will further contribute to the establishment of the crypto market structure and cooperation with regulators. He noted that he has long been a fan of IEX CEO Brad Katsuyama’s vision to be a fair exchange, adding:
“Investing in IEX created a tremendous opportunity for FTX US. With this investment, we’re aligned with one of the most trusted and innovative companies in equities markets.”
IEX co-founder and CEO Katsuyama stressed that the partnership with FTX aims to help the U.S. be the largest player in digital assets globally through dialogue with regulators. He said:
“To unlock its full potential, the crypto and digital asset industry needs to engage with regulators and truly scale what has been built [...] We both see the regulators as important allies in providing a clear path forward and attaining the highest possible standards for investor protection.”
Apart from the strategic investment, FTX and IEX also plan to introduce a new initiative that would invite all investors to join the conversation with regulators regarding the future of the market structure for digital asset securities. The companies plan to provide more details about the project at a later date.
Both FTX and FTX US have been actively investing in traditional finance recently. Last month, FTX’s venture capital arm FTX Ventures invested $100 million in the mobile banking application, Dave, in conjunction with FTX US partnering with Dave for crypto payments.
According to a Sunday report by TechCrunch, FTX has also been in talks to invest in the Indian gaming startup Mobile Premier League as it prepares to make another push in the Web3 sector.