Bittrex Global lists GameStop on its exchange
A stock trading frenzy that made headlines around the world has led to a Bermudian-based cryptocurrency exchange adding a new selection of tokenised stocks to its trading platform.
Shares of GameStop and AMC Entertainment are among those that rocketed in value this week after large numbers of amateur investors bought them having swapped tips in the WallStreetBets forum on popular social media site Reddit.
Yesterday, a fintech company called Robinhood put restrictions on trading in some of the volatile shares through its consumer investing app, causing an outcry on social media.
Bittrex Global (Bermuda) Ltd today announced newly listed tokenised stocks on its exchange. The stocks are GameStop, AMC Entertainment, BlackBerry, Nokia Corporation and iShares Silver Trust. It said it would continue to list additional stocks as other firms announce a delisting from their platforms.
Bittrex Global said its tokenised stock offerings allow users around the world to buy fractionised shares if they do not have the resources to buy whole shares.
It said the decision was motivated to ensure retail investors have exposure to stocks they may wish to trade anytime during any day of the week.
Tom Albright, chief executive officer of Bittrex Global, said: “We intend to list every stock that gets delisted from platforms like Robinhood, so that even small investors have the same opportunities afforded to multibillion-dollar financial institutions. The current situation feeds into the narrative that the financial system is rigged against the little guy.
“We believe blockchain, decentralisation, and cryptocurrencies will finally put retail investors on a more equal footing with financial institutions who have been gaming the markets for decades.”
On LinkedIn, he wrote: “What we're seeing with the GameStop and Reddit Inc crowds is more proof that small, retail investors wield more and more power. This is another vote of confidence for the decentralised finance space, crypto, and tokenised stocks that can be traded 24/7 from anywhere.”
Rahwa Berhe, chief of staff, operations, at Bittrex Global, told The Royal Gazette that digitised stocks empowered investors, offering them a way to have fractionised ownership of stocks.
She said the stock market should not be only for mega corporations and the “elites,” but should be decentralised, putting the average person on an equal footing with financial institutions.
Bittrex Global announced in October it had been given a licence to operate a cryptocurrency exchange under the supervision of the Bermuda Monetary Authority. The platform includes cryptocurrencies and tokenised stocks.
It said it aims to “harness the power of distributed ledger technology to enable greater financial inclusion, instant settlement of trades, and lower trading fees”.
Meanwhile, Robinhood said it halted trading in several volatile stocks “to protect the firm and protect our customers”. It said it was raising an addition $1 billion in new capital and had allowed some trading in the shares it previously restricted.
The company said it had “many financial requirements, including SEC [US Securities and Exchange Commission] net capital obligations and clearing house deposits”.