FTX US is expanding in Miami, where the cryptocurrencies exchange already owns the naming rights to the Miami Heat basketball arena.
The company is building a permanent space with capacity for 16 to 18 employees in the Brickell financial district, an increase from the four people now in a temporary office nearby, Avinash Dabir, FTX US’s vice president of business development, said in an interview.
Miami, home to renowned beaches and nightlife, is emerging as an early beneficiary of the crypto and blockchain industries’ growth, especially after the pandemic spurred work-from-anywhere rules. FTX, for example, has significant offices in San Francisco, Chicago and now Miami, in addition to an international operations unit that recently moved to the Bahamas.
Dabir said the crypto opportunity in real estate is still in its early stages, and FTX’s role is essentially in cutting out friction in the conversion and payment process. But he envisions a time when property titles could be non-fungible tokens, or NFTs; escrow accounts could be handled through smart contracts; and crypto could help improve the entire real-estate process.
“I can’t think of a better place to do that” than Miami, he said. “It feels like everyone I talk to is in real estate, outside of crypto.”
The Miami office now is primarily focused on business development, partnerships and derivatives, with key people from its recent acquisition, crypto derivatives firm Ledger Holdings Inc., also based there.
Dabir said recent Miami-related partnerships, including one with Property Markets Group, will facilitate local real estate transactions involving cryptocurrency. The partnership is currently helping with payments in crypto on units for PMG’s new E11EVEN Hotel & Residences, Dabir said.
Jonathan Levin reports for Bloomberg.
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