Australian-based online trading platform Plus500 enjoyed a tremendous first quarter in 2018, as revenue jumped by 284% reaching $297.3 million. The explosion comes as the exchange introduced a new cryptocurrency trading option, resulting in 72,960 new customers registering with the exchange. Already this year, Plus500 has achieved 68% of what it earned during the entire 2017. It began offering contracts for difference (CFD), which have proven to be highly popular with its clients. The launch of CFDs was implemented due to customer requests and Plus500\u2019s continual review of practices to stay on top of the charts. Plus500 CEO Asaf Elimelech said, \u201cHaving a flexible business model and a lean cost structure enables us to optimise our performance as necessary despite the recently announced regulatory changes. Having the industry leading framework enables us to be confident about the future." Elimelech was referring to the regulatory changes introduced this year by the European Securities and Markets Authority (EMSA). The new regulations brought a halt to trading of binary options and implemented limitations to CFDs designed to help protect investors. A CFD is an investment vehicle that allows individuals to invest in a product without requiring them to own it. Despite the company\u2019s skyrocketing value, Elimelech doesn\u2019t anticipate that it will continue throughout the rest of the year. In its trading report, Plus500 commented, \u201cWe have since seen market conditions return to more normal levels in the last two months.\u201d It added that the new rules implemented by EMSA could mean that \u201cperformance could be further impacted by the rate at which customers opt to be reclassified as professional investors.\u201d Plus500 was founded in 2008, offering a PC-based online trading platform. The company began to offer CFDs the following year, and launched a web-based version of its software in 2010. That same year, it also introduced trading in exchange-traded funds (EFT). It is licensed with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) and went public on the London Stock Exchange in 2013, launching Bitcoin CFDs shortly after.