TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation, one of the largest online brokerage firms in the U.S., has made a strategic investment in ErisX, a new cryptocurrency exchange. ErisX is launching a derivatives exchange and clearing organization that will include fully regulated digital asset futures and spot contracts on one platform. It will first start with trading Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ethereum (ETH) and Litecoin (LTC). ErisX is currently in the process of self-certifying its futures contracts with the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
Last year, TD Ameritrade was one of the first financial services firms to offer bitcoin futures contracts on their platform. The investment in ErisX seems to be a natural progression as the demand for cryptocurrency trading rises from its clients. TD Ameritrade provides investment services to more than 11 million client accounts totaling more than $1.2 trillion in assets. Steve Quirk, executive vice president of Trading & Education at TD Ameritrade said:
“Our retail clients are seeking to access and trade digital currency products in the same way they do with traditional capital markets – through a legitimate, regulated and transparent exchange. That’s precisely why we chose to invest in ErisX – to make digital currency products more accessible to retail clients.”
Apart from TD Ameritrade, there are several other investors including DRW Venture Capital, Valor Equity Partners, Virtu Financial, NEX Opportunities, Cboe Global Markets, CTC Group Investments, Digital Currency Group, Nico Trading, Pantera Capital and Third Stone Partners, that are backing the new venture ErisX. The CMT Digital, Susquehanna International Group, XR Trading, C2 Capital Management and ED&F Man Capital Markets Inc. also participated in the investment round. Thomas Chippas, former head of global quantitative execution at Citi, has joined as CEO of ErisX. Neal Brady has been named Executive Chairman of ErisX. Chippas said:
“Closing this round of funding enables us to accelerate investments in the platform and our team. Leveraging our heritage and experience with exchange infrastructure, our market participants will benefit from modern trading tools on a fair and transparent platform. ErisX’s enhanced experience will provide the opportunity for new participants to enter the digital asset market and existing participants a superior venue for their execution and clearing needs.”
Don Wilson, founder and CEO of DRW Venture Capital said that ErisX will eliminate many of the impediments to institutional adoption and usher in a new wave of market participants, adding that this further develops the digital asset space and brings more transparency to these evolving markets.
Antonio Gracias, founder and managing partner at Valor Equity Partners said: “To function efficiently, financial markets must demonstrate security and compliance, two critical gaps in today’s digital asset markets. ErisX has recognized there is a monumental opportunity to re-imagine digital asset trading, and they’ve developed a platform to deliver a highly secure yet revolutionary experience that will work better, and for more participants.”
Douglas Cifu, CEO of Virtu Financial said: "As a global liquidity provider, Virtu supports and engages products and venues across various asset classes. Given the transparent ErisX market model and regulatory framework, it’s natural we would want to provide liquidity and grow this digital asset market center.”