Susquehanna International Group, one of the world’s largest investment firms, will begin offering cryptocurrency trading to its clients.
The company, which is based out of Bala Cynwyd, PA — a suburb of Philadelphia — is one of the highest-volume trading firms, and it has long dealt in stocks, options, ETFs, and other conventional securities.
However, Susquehanna has also quietly been facilitating over-the-counter (OTC) cryptocurrency trades for more than two years, and its bitcoin trading desk has now seats about a dozen people.
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Now, the firm plans to begin offering cryptocurrency to a small group of its 500 clients with the goal of expanding this service in the future. The news was first reported by the New York Times.
“We believe that this technology and this asset class is going to change some facet of financial services, and we think it is going to exist forever,” said Bart Smith, head of Susquehanna’s digital asset group.
Smith told the publication that Susquehanna views bitcoin primarily as a store of value — for now — though it believes either it or another cryptocurrency could become a so-called native currency for the internet.
In addition to bitcoin futures, Susquehanna will help its clients buy and sell actual cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, ether, and bitcoin cash. Since the company is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as a broker-dealer, it will be allowed to help its clients trade cryptocurrencies that the SEC classifies as securities.
Susquehanna’s decision to open cryptocurrency trading to clients is the latest evidence that large-scale investors and institutions are beginning to warm to this nascent asset class, albeit perhaps slower than many expected they would.
As CCN reported, investment banking giant Goldman Sachs has created a bitcoin futures product for its clients and plans to begin trading “physical bitcoin” in the future.
Meanwhile, Intercontinental Exchange, the owner of the New York Stock Exchange, has reportedly discussed adding a cryptocurrency exchange to its stable of trading platforms, while Nasdaq CEO Adena Friedman has said that the firm is open to listing cryptocurrencies on its platform once the market is more mature.
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