Social investing platform eToro said it would allow its US customers to trade stocks at no cost, ramping up the intensity of the brokers’ fight to eliminate trading commissions. The Israel-based firm, which is entering into a market dominated by both established players and high-flying apps, also revealed that its core social investing platform will soon be available for stock trading in the US.
eToro has already secured a soft launch for its crypto services in the US in 2019, but despite its vast experience in the trading space, it was aware of the regulatory headwinds that come with expanding into mainstream assets classes.
eToro’s cryptocurrency offering allows US investors access to crypto markets through direct investing in underlying coins, as well copying the trades of other traders, and thirdly by investing in a diversified portfolio of major crypto assets though its product Crypto Copyfund.
At launch, the US platform was only supporting trading for crypto assets, but eToro planned to add additional asset classes. In eToro’s existing markets, the company’s 13 million-plus users are able to trade and hold more than 1,500 different asset classes and markets, including stocks, bonds, cryptocurrencies, forex, commodities and more.
Yoni Assia, chief executive officer of eToro, stated that his company saw trading volumes increasing by over 200 percent compared to the first three months of last year.
The news comes shortly after the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (FINRA) has approved eToro’s membership application. Receiving the license from the Wall Street independent regulator legally enables the SEC-registered firm to extend its commission-free stocks offering to clients in the US, nearly 13 months after it introduced the service in Europe and the UK markets, with the product now available in over 100 countries.
“The US market is strategic to eToro, and as a global broker-dealer leader we will continue to expand our investments and offerings in the world’s most important financial market, allowing us to offer our unique social trading platform to an even wider audience base that are social media native. This is pivotal in growing our global footprint,” said Guy Hirsch, US Managing Director for eToro.