The FTX cryptocurrency exchange will allow clients to trade stocks and exchange traded funds in their popular trading app along with bitcoins and dodgecoins.

FTX said Thursday it has opened access to its new exchange trading service to a limited number of U.S. users, and plans to expand functionality to all U.S. customers in the next few months, the head of the U.S. cryptocurrency division said in an interview. .

The app could ultimately offer trading in other asset classes, such as futures, all within a single interface, said FTX.US President Brett Harrison. “What we end up wanting to offer is a financial services app,” he said.

FTX plans to offer no-fee trading, like most major U.S. online brokerage firms. But it will not send customer orders to speed traders in exchange for cash, a controversial practice known as payment for the flow of orders, Mr Harrison said. Payment for the flow of orders has been tightened by lawmakers and regulators after last year’s frantic trade in GameStop Corp.

and other promotions of memes.

This means that FTX will lose money in stock trading, relying on cryptocurrency profits to subsidize the new service. “We don’t necessarily have to see profits on the first day,” Mr Harrison said.

Mr Harrison first said the cryptocurrency exchange was working on adding exchange trading in January, and FTX opened a waiting list for a new service next month.

Other programs already combine fundraising and crypto, such as Robinhood,

Block Inc.

Cash and app. But FTX’s move is less common in that it represents a crypto-native firm moving into traditional markets rather than a conventional financial player expanding into digital currencies.

Located in the Bahamas, FTX operates one of the world’s largest crypto exchanges. In recent months, it has made a number of transitions to traditional asset classes. These ambitions continued even as the huge sell-off destroyed more than $ 1.5 trillion in value in cryptocurrency markets and lowered bitcoin by more than 50% from a record high in November.

In April, FTX acquired a stake in the parent company of the IEX stock exchange, known for Michael Lewis ’2014 book The Flash Boys. Last week, FTX billionaire, co-founder and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, said he bought a 7.6% stake in retail app maker Robinhood Markets. Inc.

Mr Bankman-Fried said he saw the stake as an investment and had no plans to influence Robinhood.‘s

management or strategy.

Write Alexander Vosipovich at

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