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Nelson Minier on Running a Bitcoin OTC Desk – WBD169

“I can’t tell you where the price is going to be the next day, I really can’t, and anybody that tells you they can is either a God or a liar cause this stuff is hard.”
— Nelson Minier

Location: New York

Date: Thursday, 14th Nov

Project: Kraken

Role: Head of OTC Sales & Trading

Liquidity is crucial for any tradeable asset. A liquid market means lots of buyers and sellers, making it easy to move in and out of a position without paying a premium or selling at a discounted price. Increased liquidity also means a smaller spread (the gap between the highest bid and the lowest ask).

Bitcoin is the most liquid cryptocurrency by far but compared to traditional stocks, bonds or precious metals, it is still comparatively illiquid. For smaller trades this doesn’t present a significant problem, however, for large traders buying and selling tens, hundreds or even thousands of Bitcoin, this can present a challenge as even $100,000 can move the market significantly, especially during times of low volume.

Large traders have the option of using an over-the-counter service which allows them to place an order which is fulfilled by the OTC desk utilising multiple exchanges or other OTC clients orders to limit the effect that these large trades have on the market.

In this interview, I talk to Nelson Minier. Nelson is a Wall Street veteran who, for the last two years, has been head of Kraken’s OTC desk. We discuss working on Wall Street, how an OTC desk operates, and if institutional investors are buying Bitcoin.

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