Souvenir tokens representing cryptocurrency Bitcoin and the Ethereum network, with its native token ether, plunge into water in this illustration taken May 17, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration
SAO PAULO, July 25 (Reuters) – Brazilian brokerage XP Inc (XP.O) expects to open its digital assets trading platform to clients by mid-August, initially offering bitcoin and ether but with plans to expand it by the end of this year, the company's director of financial products said.
Lucas Rabechini told Reuters in an interview that clients with an "adequate investment profile for such operations" will be allowed into the Xtage platform, now just open to employees, starting next month.
XP currently has 3.6 million customers, but said crypto trading will comply with eligibility rules such as the amount of risk each client is willing to take.
Rabechini also said that "by the end of December and the beginning of next year" there will be an additional 10 cryptoassets available for trading.
Digital currencies have been in the eye of the storm recently as crypto giants such as Celsius and Voyager have collapsed, and bitcoin has lost roughly 50% of its value so far this year . Such shockwaves, however, did not change XP's long-term focus on crypto, Rabechini said.
"You can say 'the volume has been weak, there will be few orders,' but we see this market systematically growing over time, and our long-term view is not just focused on price, but also technology," he said, noting that XP developed a "super fast" order execution technology alongside Nasdaq Inc (NDAQ.O).
XP first announced Xtage in May, and employees started testing it in early July.
The company is set to face competition from large financial players in Brazil, as Nubank , BTG Pactual and Itau Unibanco (ITUB4.SA) have all recently revealed plans to provide clients with crypto-related services.
"There are competitors doing their homework, some pretty competent ones, but we are competent as well," Rabechini said.
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