This year, cryptocurrency platform Voyager Digital is set to introduce a feature that lets customers purchase stocks using stablecoin USDC. Bloomberg News reported Wednesday (Feb. 9) that the offering stems from a joint venture between Voyager and Market Rebellion, which serves as a broker-dealer for equity traders of Voyager.
It’s an example of how cryptocurrency exchanges have begun exploring new sources of business to diversify revenue sources and retain customers.
“Incorporating stock trading, especially basing it on digital dollars, is a natural extension of what we’re doing, of our value proposition and what consumers are going to want in the near future,” said Voyager CEO and Co-founder Steve Ehrlich.
Ehrlich tells Bloomberg the company plans to offer commission-free equity trades in the latter half of 2022 and may receive some payment for order flow. He added Voyager will operate within the bounds of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, but declined to discuss the mechanics of the transactions between USDC and stocks, as the information is proprietary.
He said Voyager plans to launch a crypto-funded debit card, in partnership with Mastercard Inc. and Metropolitan Commercial Bank in the coming weeks.
That partnership follows Voyager’s collaboration with Mastercard in November 2021 which introduced a debit that offers high returns on stablecoin assets.
“This will bring to our consumers — and future customers — a debit card that is tied to their USDC balances held at Voyager,” Ehrlich told PYMNTS last year. “Cardholders can earn their annual rewards that are paid monthly by holding USDC with us, but then use that debit card anywhere that Mastercard is accepted. You can spend just as you would if you were using a card from a traditional bank.”
Meanwhile, Voyager also plans to to expand into non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and begin operating in Europe and Canada, Ehrlich told Bloomberg. The platform has grown from 35 employees a year ago to 275, with the goal of reaching a headcount of 450 by the end of the year, focusing new hiring in its services and technology branches.
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