Social-Media Platform Stocktwits Takes Cue From Brokerages, Adds Crypto Trading

Stocktwits, the social media service for retail investors, is adding live trading as an option for its users within the platform.

The first assets that Stocktwits users will be able to trade are cryptocurrencies. The platform plans to expand into stock trading later this quarter.

Brokerages like Robinhood Markets company ,

Webull and eToro have grown in popularity in part by adding social components for trading, integrating popular chat and stock feeds. The payment app Venmo has also gained momentum due to its social feeds and emojis.

With this move, the social media platform is doing the opposite.

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Crypto exchange FTX will provide the infrastructure for trading cryptocurrency in Stocktwits. The fees for cryptocurrency trading will be the same as for cryptocurrency trading on FTX, which has a tiered fee structure.

Stocktwits, which was founded in 2008, raised $30 million in a fundraising round in December that included Alameda Research Ventures, owned by Sam Bankman-Fried, who also owns FTX.

Stocktwits has added around 2 million registered users over the past two years, bringing their total to 6 million, many of whom are focused on cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrencies have ballooned into a $1.8 trillion market from $260 billion before the pandemic began two years ago.

As a result, digital currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum are among the most talked about assets in Stocktwits, CEO Rishi Khanna said, and they absolutely dominate the platform on weekends, when they’re still trading but stocks aren’t.

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Mr. Khanna said there is another reason to start the company with cryptocurrency as opposed to stocks – where there are fewer regulatory hurdles to offering cryptocurrency trading.

Mr. Khanna said that what makes Stocktwits different from other commodity trading services is the well-established community of users on the site who share information, trading tips, strategies and data.

“You can’t just spend money on it and socialize,” he said. “There is a certain aspect of luck and timing that you need to get really social.”

write to Paul Vigna at paul.vigna@wsj.com

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