eToro: The Social Trading Platform that's Guiding us to the Blockchain-Defined Finance of the Future
While investing is a basic principle for building wealth, there is more to the story. Today, the business world is well past the advent of the internet and digital technology because there are newer entrants in the global arena disrupting the way we traditionally function. Our older institutions, together with their services, need help to modernize and facilitate widespread change and pervasive services such as social networks help the most.
In 2007, when three entrepreneurs envisioned opening up global markets for everyone to trade and invest in a simple and transparent way, they built social trading and investing platform called eToro. It was mainly designed to allow anyone anywhere to trade and invest within an online community, allowing them to easily see what others do, share ideas with one another, and copy the strategies of highly successful traders. Today, it is the world’s largest online investment community, with more than 10 million registered users, from more than 140 countries.
eToro is open, easy-to-use, transparent, and hosts many innovative and cutting-edge tools. Yoni Assia, eToro founder and CEO, is understandably a fan: “With eToro the choice is yours. If you’re confident about your investment knowledge and want to choose your own investments, go for it. However, if you’re not, then eToro provides a large group of people who have been doing this for some time with a good degree of success who you can copy. We call them Popular Investors (PIs).” It hosts PIs from very diverse careers, countries, and backgrounds. Users can learn everything from their preferred PIs, including the stocks, currencies, or commodities they choose, their overall performance, and how risky their investments have been. It also allows users to directly consult with PIs to make an informed decision.
In explaining the reasoning behind this, Yoni says: “We believe that investors are looking for three things: access to the assets they want, knowledge and insight, and someone to make the process easy.” eToro offers these three essentials at an affordable price. Unlike traditional investment options, eToro is engaging as it ensures users connect with a global community of investors who are active on a 24*7 basis, and ready to answer questions and share insights.
eToro offers many more powerful features, including CopyPortfolios, social news feed, stock trading, and the eToroX Exchange platform, a facility to trade crypto assets enabled by blockchain technology. Going into deeper detail about eToroX, Yoni says: “We fully believe in crypto. The relationship between blockchain and crypto assets is similar to the internet and email. Much like email is merely one use case of the internet, cryptoassets – namely Bitcoin, the first crypto – is the original use case of blockchain technology. Blockchain will revolutionalise finance.”
Yoni continues: “We believe that we will see the greatest transfer of wealth ever onto the blockchain. We are already seeing the tokenization of assets; crypto is just one example, and we are also seeing tokenized gold and even art.” Similarly, many if not all other assets and services may well become tokenized into the blockchain. To facilitate this transition, eToro is designed to be a bridge between the old world of investing and the new blockchain-defined world.
eToro is the only place where investors can hold traditional assets alongside ‘new’ cryptoassets. Yoni explains that eToro helps investors to benefit from the transition of assets onto blockchain: “Just as eToro has opened up traditional markets to investors, we want to do the same in a tokenized world.”
eToro, as led by Yoni, understands that a supportive regulatory environment is crucial for the growth of the investment industry, as well as its consumers. It was the main force behind establishing CryptoUK, the first self-regulatory trade association for the UK’s crypto industry.
Yoni says: “eToro is a community, and as such we are always listening to our users. This has been the key to our success until now, and will, we hope, help us to continue to grow and meet the evolving needs of our users.” As a business, eToro wants to encourage more people to invest by making it more affordable and getting people excited about investing.
According to Yoni, “Every day we read another story about how ordinary people, especially millennials, are not investing enough. Yet crypto shows us that if you can capture their interest then people will invest. The majority of new investors joining eToro in 2017 and 2018 purchased crypto.”
Amid a number of challenges yet to overcome, eToro is steadfast. While blockchain may take some time to go mainstream, and integrate into legacy infrastructure everywhere, eToro is growing steadily and is doing everything it can to create a brighter future for us.