SoftBank-Backed Startup to Offer Crypto Trading (CNBC Report)

  • February 9, 2022


DriveWealth – a SoftBank-backed start-up that assists fintech firms in offering stocks – will reportedly provide cryptocurrency trading services to clients. To do so, the company will acquire Crypto-Systems – a separate digital asset organization based in the United States.

DriveWealth to Compete with Coinbase

CNBC reported that shortly after the acquisition, the start-up will launch two subsidiaries to offer Bitcoin and Ethereum trading opportunities to partners in April or May this year.

Bob Cortright – CEO at DriveWealth – raised hopes that the end-to-end crypto trading system and the algorithmic-trading platform, which his company utilizes, could bring greater transparency to the digital asset market:

“In the crypto space right now, it’s still the Wild West, prices are all over the place. There’s very little price discovery and there’s little consistency with spreads. We want to change that.”

Cortright, who has co-created Bank of America’s electronic-trading platform, believes that trade fees would collapse as watchdogs get involved, and competition increases. As such, DriveWealth aims to be a crypto liquidity provider to compete with Coinbase’s “unsustainable” transaction speed:

“We can’t continue in a world where you can charge 200 basis points on a transaction.”

Coinbase – a leading digital asset exchange – charges retail customers with fees as high as 4.5% and more. It also collects a spread on top of transaction costs.

DriveWealth’s CEO opposed such a transaction policy. “It’s coming out of the wallets of the customers,” Cortright maintained.

Bob Cortright
Bob Cortright, Source: Meta Trader

The executive concluded that numerous companies across various fields are lining up to allow customers to earn rewards in digital assets:

“Even the established, large e-commerce players are finding that, when surveying their clients, a huge percentage want to own some crypto.”

Valued at $2.85 billion, DriveWealth is backed by the Japanese financial institution SoftBank.

Coinbase’s Recent Updates

Speaking of the US-based cryptocurrency platform, it is worth noting the latest developments around it.

Nearly a month ago, it partnered with Yield Guild Games (YGG) to bring more assets available for scholarships. At the same time, Coinbase acquired FairX – a CFTC-regulated trading venue – to offer crypto derivatives to retail and institutional investors in the States.

A week later, the platform joined forces with Mastercard to simplify purchasing non-fungible tokens (NFTs):

“Thanks to our work with Mastercard, we’ll be able to provide a better customer experience on Coinbase NFT, and plan on working to find ways to bring this opportunity to the broader ecosystem.”

Subsequently, the trading venue appointed Tobias “Tobi” Lütke as its newest member of its Board of Directors. The German is the Chief Executive Officer of the e-commerce giant Shopify.

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