eToro, a broker that offers cryptocurrency trading in addition to foreign exchange, is going to set up a new over-the-counter cryptocurrency trading desk in London, according to Business Insider.
Over-the-counter simply refers to any financial trading activity that does not take place at an exchange. Things that are traded in this way are usually subject to less transparency and regulation than they would be if they were listed on an exchange, but for most investors there is no effective difference.
CEO Yoni Assia told Business Insider that most interest was coming from the owners of hedge funds.
He said: “We’ve actually set up our corporate team here in the UK to start setting up accounts to trade on eToro. We’ve announced that we’re launching the exchange as well so, between the exchange and the OTC desk, we’re also starting to serve more potential institutions and financial institutions.”
“I think there is growing institutional demand and interest of public investors to understand whether they can join the party. That is something we definitely see out there. We see more and more public market players and big banks who are interested in this space and feel left out because they’re not allowed to invest in crypto or ICOs,” he added.
eToro is a social trading broker, meaning that it offers customers the option of copying the trading behaviour of other customers, which is good if they are too busy or not experienced. It offers trading in foreign exchange, stocks and CFDs. It employs around 500 people and has offices in the UK, Cyprus and Israel.
It was founded in 2007 and began offering Bitcoin trading in January 2014. By 2017 cryptocurrency had become popular; the company reported a 4,500% jump in trading volume by April, and on one day in December it acquired more new customers in a day than it had in the entire previous year.
In June 2017 it began offering a service called ‘CopyFund’, which is a pool that customers can buy into that attempts to profit from the movements of Bitcoin and Ethereum. Social trading for cryptocurrency was initiated in December.
In March 2018 the company raised $162 million to fund an expansion into Asia and in May it entered the US market with that same money. It offers Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, XRP, Dash, Bitcoin Cash, Stellar, Ethereum Classic, NEO, and EOS trading there.
A few months ago, Assia said at a conference: “The use of blockchain and crypto is and will become a way of life.”