Cryptocurrencies are writhing in the throes of declining prices but firms are braving the storms to introduce new products for users. The duo of Citadel and Virtu are working together to offer retail brokerages an ingenious way to gain crypto exposure.
Citadel Securities and Virtu Financial Inc, leading market makers, are teaming up to build a “cryptocurrency trading ecosystem” in a move that signals increased adoption of crypto.
The ecosystem in development is reportedly looking to open the floodgates open for wealth managers and other market makers to “create more efficient access to deep pools of liquidity for digital assets.” The ecosystem is expected to allow retail traders to offer tailor-made crypto services to their client base.
“It’s more of a crypto trading ecosystem or marketplace than an exchange,” said a source. “It’s going to take on the exchanges by building a better mousetrap.”
According to Bloomberg, the collaboration between the two firms has garnered some steam in the industry with Fidelity Investment and Charles Schwab Corp showing interest in the product. Sequoia Capital and Paradigm are reportedly backing the product.
“We know there is significant interest in this cryptocurrency space and we will look to invest in firms and technologies working to offer access with a strong regulatory focus and in a secure environment,” said Mayura Hooper, a Schwab spokesperson. The firm confirmed that it made a “minority, passive strategic investment” and further revealed that it has no plans to offer direct crypto trading at the moment.
Citadel’s CEO has history with the crypto public
The latest moves by Citadel to gain a foothold in the crypto ecosystem may come as a surprise to enthusiasts. The firm’s CEO Ken Griffin had previously referred to the asset class as a “jihadist call” against the dollar and bore the tag of a known crypto skeptic.
Early in the year, he famously beat ConstitutionalDAO in the race to buy an original copy of the U.S constitution, sparking a strong backlash from community members. Nevertheless, the move to wade into crypto will be the first of its kind by Citadel unlike its competitors like Jump Trading and Jane Street which are already making plays in the field.
The bearish sentiments did little to dampen the enthusiasm of firms in introducing new products. Robinhood revealed plans to unveil a new crypto wallet with the firm’s CEO famously stating that a “crypto winter is the best time to build.”
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BeInCrypto has reached out to company or individual involved in the story to get an official statement about the recent developments, but it has yet to hear back.