The exchange, which launched last year during the pandemic, has an average daily volume of $150 million in spot cryptocurrency trades and is growing rapidly, according to Brett Harrison, 33, president of FTX.US.
“Chicago is a major financial hub of the U.S. and it’s really important for us to have a presence here as traditional finance firms continue to move into digital assets and we continue to onboard and form strategic partnerships with all these firms,” Harrison said.
FTX.US is still a relatively small player in cryptocurrency trading, where 308 spot exchanges had a 24-hour trading volume of nearly $263 billion on Thursday, according to CoinMarketCap. Coinbase, the largest U.S. cryptocurrency exchange, had a trading volume of $335 billion in the first quarter, according to financial reports.
Bitcoin accepted here
While cryptocurrency has gained momentum as an investment, its use as an actual currency has yet to gain traction in the U.S., in part because of its wild fluctuation in value.
But amid growing ranks of consumers whose digital wallets are bulging with bitcoins, an increasing number of companies are promoting their willingness to accept cryptocurrency as payment for goods and services.
A December 2020 analysis by small business lending website Fundera found that 2,300 U.S. businesses accept bitcoin, including 43 in Illinois. In April, Lincolnshire-based Camping World announced it would begin accepting cryptocurrency as payment for RVs through BitPay, a cryptocurrency payment service provider.