FTX sets sight on the US crypto derivatives market

FTX sets sight on the US crypto derivatives market

By Sam Grant - min read

The US subsidiary of cryptocurrency exchange FTX has announced it is working on an acquisition deal for digital currency futures and options exchange LedgerX

FTX.US, an affiliate of the Hong Kong-based crypto derivatives exchange FTX, has bought Ledger Holdings. The latter is the parent company of LedgerX — the popular US-based platform for trading digital asset derivatives. FTX US made the announcement yesterday as it looks to diversify into the derivatives sector.

LedgerX operates as a designated contract market, swap execution facility and clearinghouse. It is the first approved digital assets derivatives platform in the US and is regulated by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). The platform has reportedly cleared over 10 million crypto options and swap contracts for the four years it has been up and running.

The deal may be completed in October 2021 at an undisclosed sum according to reports. More financial details around the acquisition are, however, yet to be released as of writing. The deal appears to be a potentially huge one for FTX and, if successfully inked, will allow FTX.US to add futures and options to its list of offerings in the US.

LedgerX doesn't have a wide range of products with its primary focus on futures contracts, options, and swaps on Bitcoin and Ethereum. By sealing the deal, FTX.US will be better positioned to pit itself against other US exchange platforms, including NASDAQ-listed Coinbase and Gemini.

Regarding the acquisition, FTX.US CEO Brett Harrison noted, "This acquisition marks a significant milestone for our rapidly growing US business and is a key part of our strategy to bring regulated crypto derivatives to our US user base. We believe the integration of our technological capabilities, product portfolio, and large balance sheet with LedgerX will enhance our ability to provide innovative products to all US cryptocurrency traders."

Harrison described the deal as ideal, explaining it was within the exchange's [FTX] wheelhouse. The newly formed entity featuring both sides will cater to retail as well as institutional clients. He asserted that the plan was to continue with LedgerX's existing businesses as FTX.US works on the most appropriate way to adopt LedgerX's regulated futures and options offerings under it.

The exchange will also be looking to ensure the good relationship with regulators stays intact, as noted in the release. To that end, it will allocate a huge fraction of its resources towards maintaining a good rapport with regulatory authorities in the US, particularly the CFTC.