Even though the cryptocurrency market is seeing a continuous downtrend, it seems that companies cannot stay away from virtual currencies. TD Ameritrade is a U.S. based brokerage firm based out of San Francisco, California. The company has announced a strategic investment in an exchange called ErisX. This exchange offers Bitcoin spot and futures trading. Virtu Financial is a high-speed trading company who is also taking part in backing the exchange.
“We continue to see our retail clients seeking access to trade digital currency products. We wanted to find a platform that would be fully regulated and something that has that capital markets feel.” JB Mackenzie said in a phone interview with CNBC. Mackenzie is the managing director of futures and foreign exchange for TD Ameritrade.
According to the figures provided by CoinMarketCap.com, the market cap for cryptocurrencies has dropped to 50 percent in 2018 so far. Bitcoin also halved in value, reaching $6581. Even though the market is going down, an increasing number of investors are looking to add cryptocurrencies to their portfolio.
“It’s a young product in fast-moving ecosystem, and while Bitcoin may not have the same demand as it did in December, there is still demand nonetheless. We listened to our customer – what we continued to hear was that they wanted access to trade digital currency products.” – JB Mackenzie
Notably, the ErisX exchange offers access to both physical Bitcoin products and futures. Meanwhile, Coinbase, the $8 billion company only provides the facility for spot trading of Bitcoin. ErisX also provides the facility for trading, deposits, and withdrawals for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum and Litecoin.
The CME Group and Cboe Global Markets introduced Bitcoin futures to the market in December last year. Futures allow traders to invest in the future price of Bitcoin without having to hold the currency.
Notably, TD Ameritrade has over $1.2 trillion in assets with 11 million retail accounts. It was the first financial firm that started offering Bitcoin future contracts to approved clients back in 2017. The brokerage is responsible for handling an average of 780,000 trades on a daily basis. One-fourth of these trades are paced using mobile devices.
The crypto exchange is under the regulation of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which is a necessity for commencing investments. Regulatory approval for a few aspects of ErisX is still pending. This information was provided by a spokesperson for TD Ameritrade.
This news was first published on CNBC.