FTX's US arm buys a licensed derivatives exchange as CEO Sam Bankman-Fried says crypto needs to embrace regulation

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FTX's US arm buys a licensed derivatives exchange as CEO Sam Bankman-Fried says crypto needs to embrace regulation
Sam Bankman-Fried, co-founder and CEO of crypto exchange FTX. Lam Yik/Bloomberg via Getty Images
  • FTX.US, the American arm of crypto exchange FTX, announced on Tuesday that it agreed to acquire derivatives dealer LedgerX.
  • The CFTC granted LedgerX a so-called derivatives clearing organization license in 2020, letting it host complex contracts on the platform.
  • The acquisition is well in line with FTX CEO Bankman-Fried's frequent advocacy of regulatory engagement.

FTX.US, the American arm of crypto exchange FTX, announced on Tuesday that it had acquired derivatives dealer LedgerX as FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried pushes crypto to embrace the eventuality of regulation.

LedgerX is a crypto derivatives exchange that holds several key licenses with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. The CFTC granted LedgerX a so-called derivatives clearing organization license in 2020, letting it host complex contracts on the platform.

FTX.US did not disclose the size of the deal.

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President Brett Harrison told Insider recently that it was seeking regulatory approval to offer crypto derivatives in less than a year, a move that could come via a deal. The LedgerX buyout will mean the CFTC-approved platform is eventually merged under the FTX.US umbrella, Harrison told the Block.

The acquisition is well in line with Bankman-Fried's frequent advocacy of regulatory engagement. In an interview with Insider last week, Bankman-Fried said that he wants to see crypto become more friendly with regulators, a stepwise change from the defensive posture the industry is largely in today.

"I just wish that the industry were, as a whole, doing a more conscientious job of interfacing with regulators [and showing] that they don't need to have overly paternalistic regulations," he said.

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The FTX.US acquisition comes as its parent exchange has undergone explosive growth of late. In July, Bankman-Fried said his ambitions could one day extend as far as buying Goldman Sachs or CME Group.

Read more: An ex-Goldman hedge fund exec predicts bitcoin will reach $250,000 to $400,000 and ethereum will surpass $20,000 by March next year. He lays out his investment case for the 2 largest cryptos - and shares other altcoins in his portfolio.

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