- TP ICAP is launching a crypto exchange aimed at big players such as hedge funds and investment banks.
- The major financial broker has teamed up with Fidelity and Standard Chartered-backed Zodia Custody.
- It is a sign that institutional interest in bitcoin and crypto is sticking, despite the fall in prices.
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Market infrastructure company TP ICAP is launching a cryptocurrency exchange aimed at investment banks, hedge funds and other financial institutions, in a sign that big players are still keen on digital assets despite the recent plunge in prices.
Fidelity Digital Assets and Zodia Custody, which was launched by Standard Chartered, have also backed the project and will provide custody services, the companies said Tuesday.
“Client demand to trade spot crypto assets is significant and growing,” said Simon Forster, co-head of digital assets at TP ICAP, cited in the companies’ announcement. “But to date many of our clients have been prevented from accessing crypto asset markets due to current limitations in market infrastructure.”
It is a sign that major players in financial markets remain interested in crypto assets, despite bitcoin’s slide from close to $65,000 in May to around $35,660 on Tuesday.
Institutional investors are put off by the design of crypto exchanges where trading and storage are done in the same place, TP ICAP said.
It hopes its new crypto-trading platform will appeal to big players by giving them access to liquid trading in bitcoin, ether and other crypto tokens, as well as storage for their assets at separate custodians.
TP ICAP, a global company that facilitates transactions between financial institutions, said the trading platform will be made available to its customers around the world. It will aim to provide the market standards and trading infrastructure viewed as a minimum in traditional markets, it said.
Fidelity sees the joint effort as key to bringing more big players on board with crypto assets. “Collaborating with industry leaders like TP ICAP to bring to market innovative solutions that strengthen the digital assets ecosystem is critical to enabling even more institutional participation,” said Chris Tyrer, head of Fidelity Digital Assets in Europe.
The new platform has already started to onboard customers, but its operation is subject to approval by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK, where TP ICAP is based.