Futu, Up Fintech to Rival Robinhood in Crypto Trading

The two Chinese platforms have grown their overseas presence and are now eyeing the digital currency market.
CapitalWatch StaffJun 02,2021,20:23

Two Chinese stock trading platforms, Futu Holdings Ltd. (Nasdaq: FUTU) and Up Fintech Holding Ltd. (Nasdaq: TIGR), have applied for licenses to facilitate cryptocurrency transactions.

The digital currency market has been on a wild ride until recently, marked by the public listing of Coinbase Global Inc. (Nasdaq: COIN) and Bitcoin exceeding the $63,000 mark in mid-April before its sharp drop in recent weeks that found it at today’s $37,976. Ethereum and Dogecoin have also broke records over the past few months, and some analysts are predicting unprecedented growth for crypto this year.

Meanwhile, China’s two U.S.-listed stock brokerages, Futu and Tiger, are advancing toward entering the crypto trading space along with trading giants like Robinhood. As CNBC reported on Tuesday, the platforms are working toward obtaining licenses in Singapore and the United States to offer the option to locals. Robinhood has had a head start: it’s offered Bitcoin and Ethereum trading since 2018.

And Futu and Tiger have increasingly turned to overseas markets. Futu launched its beta version of the moomoo app as early as December 2018 and . Since its listing in March 2019, shares in the company have surged from $15.32 per share to today’s $144.36 as the company significantly increased its global presence. In the first quarter of 2021, the company counted 14.2 million worldwide users and 789,652 paying clients. On June 1, Futu also announced its Singapore users have surpassed 100,000.

As to UP Fintech, it counted 376,000 customers with deposits in the first quarter, according to a last week report. TIGR shares traded at $23.02 apiece on Wednesday, down on the day after Tuesday’s gains. Its stock has doubled since trading at near $11 per share in March 2019 when the company debuted in New York.

And while in the West, cryptocurrency trading has been gaining momentum, China has recently turned tough on the market in efforts to limit speculation. Last month, the nation’s banking watchdog warned against crypto transactions in payments and trading. While Beijing is known for its tough stance against cryptocurrency, with several restrictions passed in 2017, the launch of the e-yuan and its quick entry into the market has been seen as a sign of China’s warming up to crypto. However, it seems China has warmed up strictly to the centralized digital currency.

Among recent developments, Beijing is to hand out 40 million yuan ($6.3 million) in digital yuan to its residents – it’s the tenth digital yuan lottery campaign by China since their start in October 2020, according to The Block. The official launch date of the e-yuan has yet to be announced, but several tech platforms including JD.com and Alibaba’s Ant have joined its trial program; eventually, Beijing eyes the 2022 Winter Olympics for e-yuan’s widespread use.

Topics:FUTU, Up Fintech, TIGR, Bitcoin, Doge, Ether, China, Robinhood
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