Kraken sets sights on stock trading: Bloomberg

Crypto exchange Kraken is expanding its business into stock trading, according to Bloomberg.

The Wednesday report says that the exchange is targeting next year for the launch, citing a person familiar with the plans.

“Kraken is always exploring how it can power the global adoption of cryptocurrencies. While we can’t comment on rumors or speculation, we’re looking to broaden and enhance our offering so clients continue to have secure and seamless access to Kraken’s full product suite,” a spokesperson from Kraken told Blockworks via email.

The report further said that the expansion into US-listed stocks and ETFs would be offered in both the US and the UK. 

The crypto exchange will let eligible customers activate the service which will then lead them to see a mixture of crypto, stocks and ETFs. Kraken sought the necessary regulatory permits in the UK, and has reportedly applied for a broker-dealer license with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority in the US.

“We don’t comment on FINRA membership applications,” a FINRA spokesperson said.

The move comes a year after the infamous collapse of FTX, which had also moved to offer stock trading. However, the exchange collapsed before the stock trading plans materialized. 

A move into stock trading would also pit Kraken up against Robinhood and Public.com, which both offer stock and crypto trading services. 

Robinhood, a publicly traded company under the ticker HOOD, announced that its crypto transaction revenue dropped 18% last quarter. The total transaction revenue for crypto fell to $38 million.

However, executives for the trading app company expressed “potential to grow [Robinhood’s] market share” during a recent earnings call. 

Kraken’s reported move into US stocks comes as it also focuses on a European expansion.

The exchange secured an EU e-money institution license from the Central Bank of Ireland and a virtual assets services provider license from the Bank of Spain earlier this week.

“In both Ireland and Spain, we are excited to become part of their vibrant local fintech sectors. We also look forward to continuing our investments in Europe more broadly,” Kraken’s Curtis Ting said at the time.

Updated Sept. 27, 2023 at 3:46 pm ET: Added a comment from FINRA.

Updated Sept. 27, 2023 at 1:55 pm ET: Added a statement from Kraken.

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