In a major mainstream push for cryptocurrencies, ETrade is reportedly planning to launch crypto trading on its platform. The service will initially support Bitcoin and Ethereum.
The New York-based electronic trading firm has roughly 4.9 million brokerage accounts.
The financial services giant allows customers to trade traditional assets including common stocks, preferred stocks, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, futures contracts, options, bonds and fixed income investments. The addition of cryptocurrencies to its platform would signal another major milestone for the digital asset class.
According to a Bloomberg report, unnamed sources indicate that the new service will compete with rivals Robinhood and Coinbase. It would also face off against TD Ameritrade which is also reportedly testing cryptocurrency trading for its customers.
In addition to brokerage accounts, ETrade provides traditional IRA, Roth IRA, rollover IRA and custodial accounts, and currently offers exposure to Bitcoin through Grayscale’s exchange-traded fund (GBTC).
New York Times technology reporter Nathaniel Popper confirms ETrade’s latest strategy and indicates that the firm is in the final stages of launching its crypto trading service.
In the wake of TD Ameritrade quietly opening Bitcoin trading for some of its customers, I was just told that eTrade is preparing to begin offering both Bitcoin and Ether trading to its 5 million or so customers and is just finalizing a third party to actually hold the coins.
— Nathaniel Popper (@nathanielpopper) April 26, 2019
As ETrade looks to emerging digital assets to expand its offerings, it refers to the S&P constituents as “a pro hockey team made up of aging veterans.”
In a perspective on the S&P 500’s Q1 earnings, ETrade Securities writes,
“Although a high percentage of companies are surprising analysts with their bottom lines, first-quarter earnings reported by S&P 500 constituents are down by an average of roughly 4% from last year, according to FactSet.
Remember, we are 10 years into an extraordinarily long bull market. Within this context, analyzing performance is somewhat like watching a pro hockey team made up of aging veterans: Some players are outperforming others, but on balance the team is scoring fewer goals than it did a year ago. However, the drop-off isn’t nearly as bad as the beat writers anticipated. Thus, the positive surprises.
According to FactSet, if current trends hold, this will mark the first time the S&P 500 index has seen a year-over-year decline in quarterly earnings since 2016. If you’ll recall, that’s when many market observers were complaining of a slow-growth environment.”
With the growth of the digital assets sector, cryptocurrency exchanges are challenging the status quo by trading globally, around the clock, without traditional Wall Street hours that restrict traders by shutting down markets at close of business and throughout the weekends.
ETrade’s core mission as a leading digital trading platform is to allow people to trade whenever and wherever they want through its award-winning mobile app. The company also offers 24/7 customer service.
According to ETrade’s mission statement,
“Today, we are a leading online financial services firm that specializes in a first-class experience for the digitally inclined investor and trader, backed by personal professional guidance. The Company also has a high-tech custody platform for advisors and the industry’s #1-rated stock plan administration platform.”
“Investors or traders take on the markets wherever they want, however they want. Trading, research, strategies, and more available on both desktop or phone.
Investors can access a full spectrum of offerings, including more than 250 non-proprietary commission-free ETFs and more than 4,400 no-load, no-transaction-fee mutual funds.”
The brokerage has reposted a February 2019 public service announcement issued by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. It covers Bitcoin basics, risks and scams.
“Investors should know that buying and using digital currency such as bitcoin carries risks. Speculative trading in bitcoins carries significant risk. There is also the risk of fraud related to companies claiming to offer bitcoin payment platforms and other bitcoin-related products and services.”
“Bitcoins can also be bought and sold online or at physical locations. A growing number of physical establishments and exchanges allow customers to buy and sell bitcoins using cash, credit cards, money orders and other methods. Bitcoins reside in a digital ‘wallet,’ where they can be used to purchase items from establishments that accept bitcoins.”
You can check out the full announcement here.