CEO of eToro holds Bitcoin [BTC], Ethereum [ETH], speaks about opening crypto exchange

eToro’s CEO, Yoni Assia, stated in an interview that the equities trading platform has made 1000% returns in the last year. He also spoke about setting up a cryptocurrency exchange platform to target institutional investors.

The platform, who’s user base grew from 3.5 million in 2014 to about 10 million currently, has multiplied its revenue fivefold in 2017. With an aim to “democratize financial markets”, is now targeting the cryptocurrency market directly.

The plan also includes an over-the-counter desk for trades that are of financially large quantities, as one would expect from an institutional investor. On this, Assia stated:

“In theory, if you come to me and say I want $200 million of bitcoin and ethereum we could do that in one day. In a lot of brokers that might take you a month.”

Notably, the trading platform raised $100 million in March during its funding round. Analysts have predicted that the platform could be been valued at 1 billion EUR in an Initial Public Offering [IPO], even as the cryptocurrency market exhibits extreme volatility currently.

However, Assia stated that he might be considering the option of launching both an IPO and an ICO [Initial Coin Offering], saying he might do it at “the same time, one after another.”

Interestingly, 42% of Assia’s portfolio is in cryptocurrencies, with 27.8% in Bitcoin [BTC], 19.10% in Ethereum [ETH], 3.4% in NEO [NEO], and 2.5% in Stellar Lumens [XLM] and smaller investments in EOS [EOS], Cardano’s ADA currency, and XRP [XRP].

Assia stated that he is a true believer in cryptocurrencies and blockchain. He elaborated, saying that tokens can be issued in a form that represents traditional financial assets from gold to stocks. This, he said, will make it easier to trade globally. He elaborated:

“We envisage a future where more than $100tn in assets actually move from the paradigm where they’re sitting today on balance sheets of banks to the blockchain. And then if $100tn moves, then we just want 1% of those $100tn.”

Furthermore, a US expansion is on the cards, stated Assia. He also called Japan a “huge crypto market” while speaking about potential expansion plans. The existing Australian branch of eToro will also be tightened up, said Assia.

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