The Bahamas-based FTX Exchange is planning to officially launch its business in Canada by acquiring Bitvo Inc. This Calgary-based cryptocurrency exchange is regulated by all 13 provincial and territorial securities commissions across the country.
FTX Exchange is one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency companies, with over $4 billion in revenue last year alone. FTX is acquiring Bitvo Inc at an exciting juncture for the cryptocurrency market, as we’re now seeing widespread price drops following a bubble-like burst earlier this year. However, this news speaks to the level of commitment that FTX has to this industry over the long term.
Several cryptocurrency companies, including Coinbase Global Inc., are implementing severe staff reductions to save money. The crypto lending company Celsius Network Ltd. has announced that it will be suspending operations indefinitely, which will leave millions of its customers in a precarious position while also accelerating a global selloff of cryptocurrencies.
The acquisition will allow FTX Exchange to expand its offerings into Canada and help it compete with other exchanges such as Binance and Bittrex, which have already launched businesses here. The two companies have not divulged the precise terms or valuation of the acquisition, which is scheduled to be finalised in the third quarter of this year, pending approval from the relevant regulatory authorities.
Both companies’ chief executive officers have stated that users of their respective cryptocurrency platforms will not notice any changes shortly. However, they are expected to borrow certain features from one another in the coming months and make them available to users as a whole. The companies said that they do not anticipate that the deal will have any impact on the current levels of staffing.
In an interview, Mr Bankman-Fried said, “We’re focused and excited to be building a real Canadian footprint.”
He specifically cited the collaboration with a registered platform as one of the reasons for his optimism. “In particular, we’ve had some fantastic conversations with the government of Alberta, which has been constructive and is trying to take the lead in Canada and around the world for crypto policy and frameworks,” he said.
The Alberta government has been quick to demonstrate “immense interest” in the cryptocurrency space. Earlier in the year, Mr Schweitzer stated that companies operating in the cryptocurrency space were quick to explain “immense interest” in the province after the Alberta government promised in its Throne Speech that it would make the area a global leader and hub for crypto.
FTX will launch its operation in Calgary, Alberta. The company’s CEO, Mr Schweitzer, stated that this new venture would help FTX grow its reputation and the opportunities it offers in technology and innovation.
Mr Bankman-Fried added that FTX is also looking into other opportunities across Canada, not just Alberta. He stated, “for the time being, we do not have any specific plans in mind.” However, he added, “as we’ve said before, we’re looking to expand in places where regulators are working with the sector to create meaningful opportunities.”