Robinhood Adds New Crypto Assets

Robinhood has added litecoin and bitcoin cash to its current bitcoin and ethereum offerings, raising the number of tradable crypto assets to four. Cryptocurrency trading has now expanded into 17 states that include California, Michigan, Florida and Pennsylvania, and it is expected to go nationwide by the end of 2018. A recent blog post noted that the company expects to release new assets in the coming months and has added crypto-specific features to its web and mobile platforms, allowing users to share instant status updates with other customers and to work with real-time price alerts.

Special Advisor Hired by eToro

Global investment platform eToro has hired former hedge fund manager Lord Stanley Fink as special advisor. According to a statement, Fink will be advising the company about crypto assets and initiatives that include an upcoming U.S. expansion. CEO Yoni Assia noted the hire, stating, “It has become increasingly clear that institutions and other big ticket investors want access to cryptoassets. Today, eToro has over 10 million users, and we believe a key part of our future growth will come from these institutions. Lord Fink’s experience and expertise across the fund management universe is unparalleled, and we look forward to working with him to further develop our institutional product offering.”

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CMC Markets to Offer MetaTrader 4 and 5

CMC Markets will add Metatrader 4 and 5 platforms after years of focusing solely on proprietary software. The announcement is perfectly timed to the August implementation of European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) rules that will lower margins on major currency pairs to 30:1 from levels that now run as high as 200:1. Many small brokers are expected to close up shop in the coming months because the rules will reduce retail revenues. It appears that CMC is adding industry standard Metatrader to attract small traders affected by those closures.

The London-based broker also detailed current performance and 2019 business strategies, which include expanding its institutional footprint. The firm generated just over $30 million in revenues through institutional clients in 2017, with that number set to rise this year to $42 million, a 38% increase. That compares with $183 million in 2017 retail revenue and $206 million projected for 2018.

CMC Markets is also expanding into new venues to diversify income out of business centers that include Germany, Australia and the U.K. The company reported unexpected growth in France, where an adverse regulatory environment is forcing many forex brokers to reconsider operations, and it plans to open offices in China and the Middle East. The Middle Eastern operation is likely to be centered in Dubai, where other brokers that include Dukascopy, Avatrade and Saxo Bank have opened offices in recent years. 

TradeStation Updates Crypto Trading Rollout

TradeStation is pressing ahead with plans to offer cryptocurrency trading on its popular trading platform, according to a recent interview with President John Bartleman. The company has registered TradeStation Crypto Inc. in Florida, and it is working in collaboration with parent Monex Group, Inc. (MNXBF) to bring crypto trading services online through the Coincheck exchange. A recent customer survey found that more than 50% of respondents weren’t interested in the asset class due to scams and volatility, but Bartlemen noted that 16.8% of customers invested in crypto in the first half of 2018, up from 11.2% in the second half of 2017.

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