Sam Bankman-Fried, CEO of FTX, has set his sights on the U.S. market that has been dominated by Coinbase Global Inc. and Binance.
“We’re anticipating a lot of growth in the United States,” said Bankman-Fried in a recent interview. Indeed, next decade is looking rosy for FTX U.S., which generated $1.1B in revenue and $350M in profit last year. The company plans to increase its derivatives offerings in the U.S., where only two percent of transactions occur. FTX has recently received approval from the regulatory authorities to provide bitcoin futures and ether options.
Crypto billionaire Samuel Bankman-Fried established the FTX U.S. trading platform in 2020 with a limited number of tokens. Since then, he’s been on a marketing blitz to promote the exchange. In addition to a Super Bowl commercial starring Larry David, he also renamed the Miami Heat’s stadium the FTX Arena. He spent $210 million to sponsor a gaming team. He signed up endorsers such as quarterback Tom Brady, ex-Red Sox slugger David Ortiz, and Naomi Osaka. He is now pushing Congress to pass new rules that would allow him to offer more crypto derivatives and coins.
Lobbying stops regulations from happening, says law professor
A kind of Robin-Hood, Bankman-Fried wants to use the proceeds of capitalism (coming from $350 million in FTX profit and his fortune) to donate to those less fortunate and lobby for friendly regulation.
He bought a derivatives trading platform licensed by the CFTC and donated $5,800 to approximately 12 members of Congress from both sides. He donated $5 million to Joe Biden’s 2020 support committee, making him one of the largest donors. He’s received a warm reception in Washington, which is perhaps not surprising.
Rohan Grey, a Willamette University law professor who has worked with Democrats on crypto regulations, believes the cryptocurrency market requires strict rules to protect consumers against fraud and prevent it from destabilizing the broader financial system. He believes that lobbying like Bankman-Fried’s hinders these efforts. Grey states that when people propose stronger regulations, people like Bankman-Fried go out to stop it from happening. “Big money talks,” he opines.
India’s exchanges take a hit as Coinbase eyes expansion
This has already been a successful year for U.S. crypto exchange Coinbase, which generates more than $600,000,000 per month in revenue, despite offering only coins that it claims don’t violate the SEC rules.
Coinbase has its sights set on expansion into India in 2022, confident of its ability to expand its presence there when the crypto community is undergoing significant upheaval. The country’s government recently passed a 30% tax on gains made on crypto. Moneycontrol reported that transaction volumes and domain traffic have plummeted on top Indian exchanges since April 1, when the new tax law came into effect. WazirX, CoinDCX, Zebpay, and Bitbns, which were the largest exchanges in terms of transactions, all reported a drop of at least 10 percent.
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