US broker TD Ameritrade has confirmed it is rolling out a more comprehensive cryptocurrency trading portfolio in what mainstream media describes as the firm going “full crypto.”
Client Demand Behind ErisX Investment
TDA, which was one of the first finance giants to offer Bitcoin futures trading, plans to enter into a strategic investment with exchange ErisX along with Virtu and DRW Holdings. The latest mover in the institutional investment sector to target Bitcoin again, TDA’s partnership will ultimately facilitate physical Bitcoin futures, matching plans by Intercontinental Exchange’s forthcoming Bakkt platform.
“It’s a young product in a fast moving ecosystem, and while bitcoin may not have the same demand as it did in December, there is still demand nonetheless,” JB Mackenzie, managing director of futures and foreign exchange for TD Ameritrade, told CNBC October 3.
We listened to our customers — what we continued to hear was that they wanted access to trade digital currency products.
ICE’s Bakkt To Tread First Ground
The firm brings $1.2 trillion in assets and 11 million retail customers to Bitcoin and is set to expand its range of cryptocurrencies when it rolls out the offering in Q2 2019.
Speaking to CNBC’s Fast Money segment October 4, TDA’s executive vice president of trading and education Steve Quirk reiterated the combined effort would be fully regulated from the outset. “What clients really want is they want access to these markets but they want it in a regulated manner,” he said.
Quirk did not respond to a query as to whether the move was in anticipation of Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) hitting the market.
November meanwhile should see the start of Bakkt’s operations, officials confirming late last month that the platform’s first product would be in the form of physical Bitcoin futures.
CEO Kelly Loeffler went into details on the emerging market at Fintech Forward October 3, the annual conference hosted by US regulator the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
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