Instead of fazing institutions, the dismal performance of the crypto market and the continued maturation the industry backing has continued to attract well-established firms from across the globe. Most recently, a handful of Wall Street heavy hitters have downed the red pill, revealing that it is time for financial institutions, like themselves, to step out of their comfort zones and enter the cryptosphere.
TD Ameritrade Dives Into Crypto Head On, Watch Out Bakkt
Earlier this week, as reported by NewsBTC, crypto investors across the globe were met with great news, as The Block divulged that Wall Street giant TD Ameritrade, along with other prominent traditional firms, were joining hands to launch a crypto asset investment platform.
For those who haven’t kept in the loop, ErisX, as the platform is known, is slated to become a location for individuals, whether from a retail or institutional background, to trade cryptocurrencies and their derivative counterparts. Initially, for its planned Q2 of 2019 launch, ErisX intends to introduce spot trading support for Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash, as long as the platform receives regulatory approval that is.
But eventually, following the successful release of its spot trading feature, the startup has plans to implement physically delivered futures, which may have a greater effect on the market, as many analysts and industry leaders have come to expect.
As of the time of writing, ErisX has been backed by DRW, Virtu Financial, and, most importantly, TD Ameritrade, which has been valued at over $30 billion in public markets.
As made clear by Steven Quirk, executive vice president of TD Ameritrade’s Trader Group, in a recent CNBC Fast Money episode, the financial institution means business, with the CNBC guest giving an insight into the inner workings of ErisX. Quirk explained that the reason this platform is so promising is due to the firms backing and working on ErisX, elaborating:
“I think the appeal for us is that [ErisX has] the biggest players in the Bitcoin space from a market making standpoint, both DRW and Virtu here, and you also have Cboe in a partnership with NEX. So you have people that are very well versed in this space and what we’re bringing to the table as a strategic investor is a pretty deep understanding of our 11+ million retail clients and what they look for when it comes to a product.”
Leveraging his insider expertise, Quirk, who also works with Ameritrade’s investor education department, went on to explain that investors want a way to gain exposure to crypto markets, but through a regulated entity or vehicle, so ErisX’s futures contract will fit that role perfectly. He added that the futures on this proposed platform will be readily-available for TD Ameritrade’s wide array of customers, and to top it off, will be offered at no extra cost to the consumer in comparison to Cboe or CME’s already-instated crypto asset contracts.
While this platform shows promise, ErisX’s road to glory will likely have its fair share of potholes and roadblocks, as many expect for TD Ameritrade and its partners to face Bakkt, a similar platform supported by the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), Starbucks, and Microsoft, in a winner takes all scenario. But as with any market, investors across the globe should rejoice, as competition always spurs innovation and development in ways that only work to better the consumer experience.