By Staff Writer
Q: Please tell us about eToro and how it is entering the crypto market?
A: eToro was founded in 2007 with the vision of opening up global markets so that everyone can invest in a simple and transparent way. The eToro platform enables people to invest in the assets they want, from stocks and commodities to cryptoassets. We are a global community of more than twelve million registered users who share their investment strategies; and anyone can follow the approaches of those who have been the most successful. Due to the simplicity of the platform users can easily buy, hold and sell assets, monitor their portfolio in real time, and transact whenever they want.
eToro is one the earliest adopters of crypto among online investing platforms. We started offering Bitcoin in 2014, and managed to onboard 16 major cryptocurrencies so far. These are: Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Ripple, Dash, Litecoin, Neo, Stellar, EOS, Cardano, ZCash, Tron and Tezos
Q: How do you help clients access opportunities in the crypto space? What is the size of your crypto portfolio?
A: Depending on the type of investor you are – from novice to professional – eToro offers 4 different ways for retail clients to access crypto. You can invest in real cryptoassets on the eToro platform, copy others who are invested in crypto if you don’t have the time or knowledge to do so yourself, store crypto in eToro’s on-chain wallet and manage all of your crypto investments across multiple exchanges on Delta – the portfolio management app we recently acquired last year. For more experienced traders, you can buy and sell crypto via our on-chain crypto exchange we launched 2019
Q: How do you differentiate your strategy with other competitors? Who are your main competitors?
A: eToro is different from our competitors because we are the only regulated platform that enables customers to buy regulated and unregulated products in one place. eToro acts as a bridge between the old world of traditional assets and the new. People like the convenience of having a multi-asset portfolio on one platform.
eToro is also unique because of our CopyTrading function, which allows people who don’t have the time or knowledge to invest, automatically mimic the investment strategies of others who do.
eToro has also focused on operational and regulator scale, meaning we are able to offer our products and services to over 12 million registered users across more than 100 countries. The social feed within our platform allows this global online community to share their views and strategies with one another, making the idea of investing less isolated for peoples.
Q: What are the main challenges you are facing? Regulations, cybersecurity or money laundering – FATF?
A: As a regulated company, we are compliant with the latest developments and procedures concerning KYC and AML checks.
As we scale and hopefully get more people interested in investing, we as an industry must look to educate people on how to invest responsibly and use the right tools that suit them as an investor – whether that’s doing it on their own or copying someone else.
We’re constantly evolving our product suite to suit the needs of our 12 million registered users – from new assets to new technology that can help people manage their investments better, signaled by our two acquisitions we made last year – the portfolio management app Delta and smart contracts company Firmo.
Q: What are the main jurisdictions you are actively offering your services?
A: eToro is regulated globally. In the UK, we’re under the regulation of FCA. In Europe, we’re under CySEC and our Asia clients are regulated by ASIC.
Q: Could you share with us your view on crypto regulations and whether it is hinder or helping your firm?
A: We’ve seen more countries start to re-visit and initiate regulatory processes for cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology to serve the financial services industry.
Last week, India’s Supreme Court justified that the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) ban on banks’ services to crypto-related firms was unconstitutional. In South Korea, representatives of the National Assembly passed a legislation that would provide a framework for the regulation of cryptoassets and crypto exchanges. Also, in the US, Congressman Paul Gosar has presented a bill, which if passed would become the Crypto-currency Act of 2020, designed to provide clarity and legitimacy to crypto.
We’re also seeing an increasing number of central banks look to develop digital currencies – CBDCs, signaling governments and regulators who were previously adopting a wait and see approach, certainly in the West, are now looking at ways of applying crypto and blockchain technology to the traditional financial infrastructure.
We think regulation is needed to provide protection for consumers, thereby giving them more confidence to dip their toe in the water and start investing in crypto as an asset class. eToro works with regulators around the making it one of the few regulated platforms where you can buy and sell real cryptoassets. We believe this helps customers trust eToro.