Grupo XP, Brazil’s biggest financial group and owner of XP Investimentos SA, revealed that it is launching an exchange for Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) trading in the upcoming months, Bloomberg reported September 21.
Grupo XP CEO Guilherme Benchimol announced the launch at an event in Sao Paulo. Their sudden business venture in cryptocurrency is due to the upsurge of the country’s exposure to Bitcoin, he explained.
According to Benchimol, approximately 3 million Brazilians are well-acquainted with Bitcoin compared to only around 600,000 that invest in regular stocks. This pushed the firm to take a chance on digital assets. Admittedly, Grupo XP would rather stay on the traditional path than to put its foot out into the cryptocurrency-crazed world.
The CEO of Grupo XP disclosed:
“I must confess, this is a theme I’d rather didn’t exist, but it does. We felt obligated to start advancing in this market.”
The firm aims to gain 1 Trillion reais ($245 Billion) under custody by 2020, four times of what it looks forward to have by the end of the year. To be set apart from the brokerage’s other businesses, the exchange is going to be piloted by XP’s portfolio manager, Thiago Maffra. It will be called XDEX and comprised of 40 employees.
Grupo XP expanded quickly over the past few years by holding out online investment platforms to the growing middle class sector in Brazil. It also recently made a deal with banking giant Itau Unibanco Holding SA last year, where the brokerage sold a minority stake valued at 12 Billion reais (around $2.9 Billion). The firm is also inaugurating a bank in the next few months, Benchimol informed.
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