SoftBank-Backed Broker Avenue Debuts Bitcoin Trading
SoftBank-backed broker Avenue Securities debuted native, no-fees bitcoin trading services on Wednesday through an integration with B2B platform Apex Crypto to meet a growing demand for BTC and cryptocurrency among its over 500,000 Brazilian clients.
“Trading cryptocurrencies is now officially a reality with Avenue Digital Assets,” the company said in a Wednesday email to investors seen by Bitcoin Magazine. “All this with the same ease of our services that you already know, and integrated into your platform.”
Cryptocurrency trading was live on Avenue’s website on Wednesday and launched on mobile the following day. But while trading has been enabled, Avenue customers don’t have the option to withdraw purchased cryptocurrency to external self-custody wallets at the moment.
The news comes nearly one month after the U.S.-based securities brokerage firm specialized in serving Brazilian customers announced plans to debut the feature.
Avenue’s app now provides the user with a direct interface through which they can trade bitcoin, however, the actual negotiation happens on the backend at Apex Crypto’s platform. To opt into the new feature, a customer needs to accept Apex’s terms and conditions and consent Avenue sending their personal information to the third-party service provider, which will open an account for them.
“You are trading cryptocurrencies through your Apex Crypto account,” a warning displayed on the Avenue app’s bitcoin trading page reads. “Apex Crypto is not a registered broker-dealer or FINRA member and your cryptocurrency holdings are not FDIC or SIPC insured.”
Apex handles bitcoin buying, selling, and custody for Avenue. The platform specializes in providing a simple, compliant integration option for fintech companies to add cryptocurrency trading functionality to their applications, according to its website.
In February, Avenue founder and CEO Alberto Lee said that his company’s cryptocurrency trading feature would bring down prices by as much as 8% compared to Brazilian markets that trade in reais, the country’s national currency.
“The trading volume of cryptocurrencies in reais is still very thin compared to dollar volume, and that makes a difference in price formation,” Lee said at the time.