During the first day of the Paris Blockchain Week Summit, our very own Vlad Costea had the opportunity to sit down with Yoni Assia, the founder, and CEO of eToro, to discuss their plans to help build a tokenized the world.
For those who are not familiar with eToro, Mr. Assia describes it as, “the largest social trading network in the world” with more than 10 million registered users who can see, follow, and automatically copy each others’ trades.
“So when you copy off someone, let’s say with $1,000, [the platform] copies all of the positions into those $1,000 and everytime he/she makes a trade, it [gets replicated] in your account.”
Etoro launched this feature in 2007 and has been well perceived by its customers since then, allowing them to significantly scale it through Europe and Asia.
The great success that the exchange has had since it was founded in 2006 has been characterized by innovation, which has influenced their awareness in the new trends of the market and helped them get into the crypto world at an early stage.
“We started looking at cryptos in 2010 when we bought the first Bitcoins for the company. In 2011, we started looking at tokenization of assets. We wrote with Vitalik Buterin the Coloured Coin’s whitepaper, in 2012, about how we were planning to use the Bitcoin network to tokenize traditional fiat currencies. In 2014, we launched Bitcoin trading on the platform [and] in 2017 we added Ethereum when it was about $7, just before [the bull market] started.”
Aiming to open the global markets for everyone to trade and invest, eToro was the first and only regulated financial institution to offer cryptocurrency trading around.
Etoro Going all in.
The cryptocurrency exchange veteran continues to bet on the future of the market and it announced that it was launching a dedicated, secure and regulated trading venue offering a range of cryptoassets as well as a range of stablecoins.
“We are here today launching eToroX, which is our crypto exchange, together with 8 stablecoins,” including the New Zealand Dollar (NZDX), Japanese Yen (JPYX), Swiss Franc (CHFX), United States Dollar (USDEX), Euro (EURX), Pound Sterling (GBPX), Australian Dollar (AUDX), and the Canadian Dollar (CADX).
Yoni Assia sees eToroX as what could be considered for the company the beginning of “going all in” blockchain technology. The recent acquisition of Firmo, which is a Copenhagen-based platform that can be used to execute financial contracts on multiple blockchains, will allow them to use its programming language to create products like cryptocurrency derivatives:
“On eToro, there are almost 2,000 different assets from stocks to commodities and fiat currencies, so we are tokenizing them as ERC20 tokens using our own technology and then we are listing them on the exchange. We are creating a sort of holistic view to be able to see both crypto assets and traditional financial assets that have been tokenized on the same platform… We want, eventually, to help tokenize the world and create more free access to more type of assets globally.”
The new platform will help the company penetrate the U.S. market and target professional traders. As any other regulated exchange, eToroX will do full KYC and will be using anti-money laundering techniques from the traditional finance world and will be integrating new approaches such as chain analysis to help them prevent fraud.
When asked if he was holding any cryptocurrencies, Mr. Assia said, “everybody can see that I have been trading a lot of Bitcoin and Ethereum, those are my two biggest positions.”