As Bitcoin price surges once again, interest has returned to the crypto market in a major way. Not only are crypto powerhouse mainstays like Coinbase and Binance doing more than ever to cater to the growing demand across the crypto market, traditional asset managers like Fidelity have begun to enter the emerging market in hopes of bridging the gap between the asset class and institutional investors.
The latest major, traditional Wall Street investment firm to be rumored to be launching a cryptocurrency-focused trading desk, is E*Trade. And according to reports from around the web, the firm may have started targeting crypto traders via search term advertising, lending credence that the rumored trading desk may be closer to launch than expected.
Is E*Trade Testing the Crypto Market Waters Before Making a Big Splash?
At the close of April, sources familiar with the matter revealed to Bloomberg that investment giant E*Trade is close to launching a crypto trading desk, offering both Bitcoin and Ethereum – the two top most cryptocurrencies by market cap – to start before expanding down the line.
While a spokesperson for E*Trade declined to comment on the story, recent reports from Twitter reveal that New York-based investment firm may be laying the foundation of an effort to become top of mind with crypto traders.
— Crypto Bobby (@crypto_bobby) June 9, 2019
According to the reports, searching Google for the search term “crypto trading” results in E*Trade being listed among Google’s advertising results, alongside San Francisco-based crypto exchange Kraken, and margin trading platform PrimeXBT. The three companies can be seen leveraging Google’s search term advertising product, formerly known as AdWords, in order to target crypto traders researching potential platforms.
The marketing tools allow companies to promote advertisements they create and specify, whenever the chosen search term comes up in a user’s search query. In this case, E*Trade is trying to capture market share away from other cryptocurrency trading platforms, by appearing in the Google search results inorganically when the term “crypto trading” is searched for.
If they *are* purposely targeting crypto traffic, my guess is that they are doing paid keyword research to judge traffic potential.
— Brad Michelson (@BradMichelson) June 9, 2019
It’s worth noting, that Google’s ad platform can pick up results from “broad match” terms, which in this case may simply be the keyword “trading” sans “crypto.” However, the company could very well be doing “paid keyword research” to “judge traffic potential,” according to Director of Market at BlockFi, Brad Michelson, who likely has experience with promoting his business via the same type of Google search term advertisements E*Trade is using.
The practice is the internet equivalent to traffic surveyors who are trying to determine how much potential foot or vehicle traffic a retail location may have, ahead of breaking ground. In the case of E*Trade, the company could be trying to get a feel for overall demand of a crypto trading desk ahead of its launch.
E*Trade’s fame stemmed from both its ease of use during the early days of dot com stock trading, and for its marketing campaign that proved that the platform was so simple to use, even a baby could learn to trade effectively. Should E*Trade once again offer an easy-to-use platform for the uneducated crypto investors, the company could help break down an important barrier preventing from the asset class from reaching mass exposure and adoption.
Bitcoin To Boom From E*Trade Entering Market?
According to data, E*Trade has over $346 billion of its client’s assets under management, which could see some of it make its way into the crypto market. For comparison’s sake, the entire cryptocurrency market cap of thousands of cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, is only $254 billion, which many say is not representative of the total wealth stored in the asset class.