eToro

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eToro
TypePrivate
IndustryFinancial services
Investing online
Social investment
Bitcoin exchange
Founded2007 (2007)
FounderYoni Assia, Ronen Assia, David Ring
HeadquartersLimassol, Cyprus
London, United Kingdom
Tel Aviv, Israel
Area served
Worldwide
Key people
Yoni Assia, CEO
ServicesInvestment management, Brokerage firm
Number of employees
501-1000
Websitewww.etoro.com

eToro is an Israeli social trading and multi-asset brokerage company that focuses on providing financial and copy trading services.[1] It has registered offices in Cyprus, Israel, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Australia.[2][3][4][5] In 2018, the company's value was $800 million.

History[edit]

eToro was founded as RetailFX in 2007[6] in Tel Aviv, by brothers Yoni Assia and Ronen Assia together with David Ring.[7]

In 2010, eToro released the eToro OpenBook social investment platform, along with its "CopyTrading" feature. The eToro trading platform enables investors to view, follow and copy the network's top traders automatically.[8] Later that year, eToro released its first Android app so that investors could buy and sell financial instruments via mobile devices.[9]

Between 2007 and 2013, the company raised $31.5 million in four rounds of funding.[10][11] In December 2014, eToro raised $27 million from Russian and Chinese investors.[12] In December 2017, eToro and CoinDash became partners to develop Blockchain-based social trading.[13] In 2018, eToro raised a further $100 million in a private funding round.[14] Overall, more than $162 million has been invested in eToro by investment firms, such as Spark Capital, SBI Holdings, CommerzVentures, Korea Investment Partners, and China Minsheng Financial Holdings, as the company reported.[1][15][16]

In 2013, eToro introduced the capability to invest in stocks and CFDs, with an initial offering of 110 stock products.[17] The same year, eToro was authorized to offer its services in the UK by the FCA regulatory authority, under the subsidiary eToro UK.[18] In January 2014, eToro added cryptocurrencies to its investment instruments.[19][20]

In April 2014, eToro added 130 British and German stocks composing the FTSE 100 Index and the DAX30 indices to the company's stock selection.[21]

In 2017 eToro launched a CopyPortfolio feature, enabling investors to copy investment portfolios from the best-performing traders.[22]

In 2018, eToro launched a cryptocurrency wallet for Android and iOS.[23][24] In May 2018, eToro entered the US market by offering 10 cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, XRP, Dash, Bitcoin Cash, Stellar, Ethereum Classic, NEO, and EOS.[25] In November 2018, eToro announced the launch of GoodDollar, a non-profit, open-source community project aimed to reduce global wealth inequality through universal basic income (UBI) using blockchain technology.[26]

In March 2019, eToro acquired Danish blockchain company Firmo for an undisclosed sum.[27][28] In October 2019, eToro released a sentiment-based crypto portfolio using AI technology to evaluate Twitter's current positive or negative impressions of digital assets.[29] In November 2019, eToro acquired Delta, a crypto portfolio tracker application company, based in Belgium.[30][31]

As of May 2020, eToro had 13 million registered accounts.[32]

Operations[edit]

eToro's main research and development office is located in Tel Aviv, Israel. In addition to legal entities registered in the UK, China, US, Australia and Cyprus. eToro is regulated by the CySEC authority in the EU.[4] It is authorized by the FCA in the UK,[18][20] and by FinCEN in the United States,[2] and by the ASIC in Australia.[33] In 2013, eToro has been fined €50.000 by CySEC due to detected weaknesses which concerned its organisation and operation structure back to 2010.[34] In 2015 eToro was added to Quebec blacklist as an unauthorized foreign company that encouraged residents to invest in binary options via its trading platform.[35] The company reported operating in 140 countries.[36][37]

Marketing and expansion[edit]

In August 2018, eToro announced a sponsorship deal with seven UK Premiership teams including Tottenham Hotspur, Brighton & Hove Albion F.C., Cardiff City F.C., Crystal Palace F.C., Leicester City F.C., Newcastle United F.C. and Southampton F.C.. The partnership continued for the 2019-20 Premier League with Aston Villa F.C. and Everton F.C. joining Southampton F.C., Tottenham Hotspur F.C., Crystal Palace F.C., and Leicester City F.C.[38][39] In 2018, it was announced that Game of Thrones actor Kristian Nairn would be featured in an advertising campaign for eToro.[40] It was released in October 2018 on YouTube and featured the ‘HODLinternet meme.[41][42] In October 2020, Rugby Australia announced that eToro would be a Presenting Partner for the 2020 Tri Nations rugby series.[43]

In February 2019, The South China Morning Post reported that "the brand is planning expansion in Southeast Asia and potentially Hong Kong”.[44] In March 2019, eToro launched its cryptocurrency trading platform and its standalone cryptocurrency wallet to US users.[45][46][47]

2021 closure of leveraged positions[edit]

On Thursday, January 7, 2021, eToro informed its European clients that “due to the current high volatility in crypto markets, and the risk it presents, eToro has disabled the ability to open new leveraged crypto positions. There is no impact on existing, open leveraged crypto positions.”[48]

On Friday, January 8 afternoon, eToro notified its European clients that "due to extreme market volatility in the crypto markets, margin positions for all leveraged crypto positions" should be changed to nonleveraged, or they would be closed within four hours.[49]

A few hours later, eToro closed all leveraged positions. Together with any profit or loss incurred, money was returned to users’ account balance.[48]

Lawyers and users expressed intent to file a class action lawsuit and a motion to revoke eToro license in Cyprus.[50] "Etoro violated the contracts it had agreed with its clients. A four-hour notice before closing all leveraged crypto positions made people wake up in their different timezones and seeing their positions closed. People were losing these positions in their sleep or at work. Clients followed all the steps eToro gave to keep these CFD's open, and eToro closed them anyway," said Slavko Vesenjak, an attorney in Slovenia, who represented several eToro clients from across Europe.[48]

EToro first said that the measure affected several dozen users,[48] and then changed the number to “two percent of users”,[51] and it has 17 million users. A law professor Jurij Toplak said he would gather users and file motion to revoke eToro license in Cyprus where it is registered.[50]

References[edit]

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