Financial industry giants Nasdaq and Fidelity continue to wade deeper into the nascent cryptocurrency ecosystem, most recently through investments in Wall Street-friendly crypto exchange ErisX.
The Chicago-based ErisX announced today that it has secured $27.5 million in funding from a group of investors headlined by Nasdaq Ventures and Fidelity Investments, though the size of these firms’ investments was not disclosed.
“With increasing financial support from leading edge firms, ErisX stands to provide the most robust, secure and regulated digital asset offering available to both institutional and individual participants,” said ErisX CEO Thomas Chippas. “Closing this second round of funding enables us to continue building our modern platform and expand our team.”
The funding round also included participation from notable crypto industry firms, including crypto mining giant Bitmain and Ethereum development studio ConsenSys.
“Many of our customers have been seeking various hedging solutions and would be happy to see US regulatory compliant exchanges like ErisX provide spot and futures’ contracts in one platform,” said Jihan Wu of Bitmain. “We are confident that our customers will find this strategic partnership beneficial.”
According to the firm’s website, ErisX will offer both spot cryptocurrency trading and futures contracts, with initial support for bitcoin (BTC), bitcoin cash (BCH), ethereum (ETH), and litecoin (LTC).
The spot contracts are scheduled to launch in Q2 2019, and the firm plans to offer futures and other options products beginning later in the year after receiving CFTC approval to operate as a Derivatives Clearing Organization (DCO).
Aside from the CFTC, ErisX plans to obtain individual state licensure from all 50 US states, which will allow investors throughout the US to trade on the exchange using fiat currency.
TD Ameritrade, Trading Giant Virtu Invest in U.S. Cryptocurrency Exchange https://t.co/E3TookYFD9
— CCN.com (@CCNMarkets) October 3, 2018
Previously, ErisX had raised funds from retail brokerage, TD Ameritrade, high-speed trading firm Virtu Financial, and options exchange CBOE — the first US exchange to list bitcoin futures products. The addition of Fidelity and Nasdaq sends and even louder message to Wall Street that cryptocurrency should not be dismissed out of hand — and that ErisX is a reputable alternative to the “unregulated” crypto exchanges that currently dot the digital landscape.
Meanwhile, each of the two firms is itself preparing to roll out significant cryptocurrency products. Fidelity, as CCN.com reported, recently announced a crypto custody service for institutional traders, while Nasdaq — the world’s second-largest stock exchange — has said that it will list its first “regulated crypto 2.0 futures-type contract” in early 2019.
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