Volatile cryptocurrencies helped boost a trading company’s revenue by 284% — but the boom is fading

  • Plus500’s revenue jumped 284% and EBITDA jumped 418% as market volatility returned and interest in cryptocurrencies continued.
  • Plus500 provides CFDs, products that let retail customers bet on the price moves of assets without actually owning them.

Revenue at trading platform Plus500 jumped 284% in the first quarter of the year, led by a surge in cryptocurrency trading, the company said on Tuesday.

Isreali-headquartered Plus500 said revenue for the first three months of the year hit $297.3 million, equivalent to 68% of all revenue earned in 2017.

Earnings before costs like tax, interest, and other deductibles were $237.3 million — 90% of the total earned last year and 418% more than the previous quarter.

Plus500, which is listed in London, said the performance was down to a surge in new customers, drawn in by the return of market volatility and the continuing interest in cryptocurrencies.

“The very strong start to the year, which was referred to in our preliminary announcement of 14 February 2018, resulted from a period of relatively volatile markets and high levels of interest in the Company’s cryptocurrency CFDs offering, and in turn encouraged high levels of New Customer sign-ups and record trading in Q1 2018,” the company said.

Almost 73,000 new customers signed up in the first quarter of the year, an increase of 228% on the previous quarter.

But Plus500 added: “We have since seen market conditions return to more normal levels in the last two months. As such we do not expect such an exceptional performance to be repeated in the remainder of the year.”

Plus500, which sponsors football team Atletico Madrid, offers contracts for difference (CFD). They are financial instruments that allow traders to bet on the price movement of assets without owning them. Plus500 offers CFDs for bitcoin, ethereum, ripple, iota, litecoin, and bitcoin cash.

The products are also extremely high risk and the entire industry has come under increasing regulatory scrutiny across Europe over the last year. Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority has also warned specifically about the dangers of crypto CFDs, where prices of the underlying asset can fluctuate wildly in minutes,

Plus500 said it is raising its financial forecasts as a result of the record first quarter.

Read more at: Business Insider


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