European Broker eToro Doubles Down On Cryptocurrencies
eToro, a European brokerage firm operating a social trading platform and network, has unveiled the Blockchain Wallet at the St. Petersburg Economic Forum. The new product, launched in a pilot project, will allow users to hold and exchange multiple cryptocurrencies and digital assets in the same wallet.
With the new wallet, the company said it wants to tap into the surge of Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), a method used by blockchain startups to raise funding through the issuance and selling of tokens. The trend has pushed the cryptocurrency total market capitalization to near US$100 billion, and while Bitcoin remains the dominant cryptocurrency, hundreds of new cryptocurrencies were brought to market this year alone.
“We want to make it easy for people to own, manage and exchange assets on blockchain, that’s what the Blockchain Wallet is all about,” said Yoni Assia, co-founder and CEO of eToro.
“Blockchain is the biggest innovation in financial services since the introduction of computers into finance, and has the potential to disrupt how all financial services companies will work in the next 20 years.”
The project is run by eToro in conjunction with Colored Coins, an open source protocol for creating digital assets on the Bitcoin blockchain. The launch will enable eToro users to buy different digital currencies and have them registered into the blockchain using Colored Coins technology.
Assia has been active in the cryptocurrency industry since 2010. He was one of the originators of the concept of Colored Coins and has been involved with Colu, a blockchain that develops local blockchain-based digital currencies, where he sits on the board of directors.
eToro is a social trading and multi asset brokerage company with offices in Cyprus, Israel and the UK. Serving over 4.5 million customers, the company offers a global marketplace for people to trade currencies, commodities, indices and CFD stocks online. It has developed the CopyTrader feature which enables users to automatically duplicate another trader’s portfolio and investment decisions.
eToro began supporting cryptocurrency trading in early 2014 when it added Bitcoin. The company launched ether trading in March 2017.
As Bitcoin and Ethereum prices hit all-time highs this year, cryptocurrency trading activity on eToro exploded, growing 4,500% in the last year.
“The eToro trading community has been quick to embrace the clear opportunities in cryptocurrencies,” said Mati Greenspan, a senior markets analyst for eToro.
“Cryptocurrency is the future of forex. And over the last 12 months we’ve seen a 4x growth in traders accessing this market. […] The rapid growth in the adoption and price of cryptocurrencies only marks the first few steps on the long-journey to establishing cryptocurrencies as a dominant force in forex trading. We expect cryptocurrency trading volumes to get much bigger over the coming years.”