TP ICAP, the world’s largest inter-dealer broker, announced last week that its cryptocurrency spot trading marketplace, Fusion Digital Assets, completed its first trades and went live. The UK-based company is looking to offer cryptocurrency to many institutional investors despite a prolonged bear market and a number of scandals that have rocked the industry.
Simon Forster, Global Co-Head of Digital Assets at TP ICAP Group, said: “The crypto landscape is still a little bleak, but we’ve seen a lot of growth in our traditional customer base and how we’re doing with our customers.” Looking at the relationships we’ve built, I actually feel pretty optimistic,” he told CoinDesk.
“There are a lot of people building interesting things, and 2022 feels like a watershed moment when the crypto landscape changed, perhaps forever.”
Traditional finance companies need to have strict governance and regulatory structures in place before they can serve investors, and launching a new marketplace is a long and difficult process. TP ICAP aims to provide an infrastructure familiar to institutional investors, Forster said. He believes a vertically integrated cryptocurrency exchange that combines exchanges, custody and other businesses could create conflicts of interest.
Fusion Digital Assets has a split operation structure, TP ICAP’s Fusion electronic trading platform, a non-custody crypto asset exchange, Fidelity’s Digital Assets SM, Flow as a custodian to hold and settle customer assets. It consists of liquidity providers such as Traders and XBTO Global. We plan to introduce additional custodians in the future to increase investor options.
The first trade was a bitcoin-US dollar (XBTUSD) pair. The marketplace currently supports trading of Bitcoin and Ethereum (ETH) against the US dollar, and plans to expand the assets it supports according to customer demand.
TP ICAP’s Digital Asset Division was established in 2019. In 2022, it announced that it would provide the function to trade ETPs (listed trading instruments) related to crypto assets, and after registering with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), obtained a UK crypto asset license in December. This enabled Fusion Digital Assets to serve the UK.
Forster said he plans to add coverage to additional regions once regulatory approval is granted.
｜Translation: coindesk JAPAN
｜Editing: Takayuki Masuda
｜Image: TP ICAP website (capture)
｜Original: TradFi Giant TP ICAP Brings Crypto Spot Trading to Institutional Investors