Looking for a way to invest your bitcoin in the UK market? First Global Credit, a firm that allows cryptocurrencies to be used as collateral margin to trade stocks and ETFs, has announced that it expanded the range of available equities to include shares traded on the London Stock Exchange.
Traders can deposit bitcoins to the platform which are used as collateral margin to secure long or short positions in the stock markets. First Global Credit uses a derivative called a TRS (total return swap) to buy or short shares on behalf of their customers, sweeping profit or loss when the positions close into their account in bitcoin. It was launched in October 2014 and in April 2015 Jon Matonis, a founding board member and former executive director of the Bitcoin Foundation, joined First Global Credit Board as a non-executive director.
“The best way to serve our customers is to provide choice,” says First Global Communications Director Marcie Terman. “We already offer a good mix of tech, entertainment, internet and health care stocks and while we offer several ETFs which cover geographic growth areas like Brazil, Russia, China and Mexico, until now choices were limited to the American markets. First Global supports customers from all continents (excepting Antarctica) and it is our plan to offer equity trading from a wide range of countries starting with the United Kingdom, where we have a concentration of clients.”
Speaking with Finance Magnates today, Terman revealed that First Global has over 1300 registered clients on the platform trading close to $2 million worth of stocks a month, just fourteen months after its launch. Other services include the ability for the bitcoin collateral to be moved in and out of fiat without closing stock trades. “Until recently, it has been difficult to find any option to turn bitcoin into a productive asset,” states Terman. “Our clients have a distinct edge over other bitcoin holders because they can extract profit from their capital in two ways.”
“If traders have something they are specifically interested in trading, it is also possible to request that it be added to the trade list,” states First Global CEO Gavin Smith. “If there is sufficient liquidity and it is available from one of our prime brokers, we will add it to the platform.”