Bakt & ErisX staff up to take on institutional crypto | Bitfinex & Tether banking relations

Bitcoin $6,587                     Ethereum $209.37  
Crypto Mkt Cap $212B               BTC Dominance 53.90%   

“People sometimes talk about liquidity in cryptocurrency as if it’s a feature and I actually think it’s a bug. I think the ability to trade causes people to buy thing without thinking about what they’re buying and causes them to sell things sooner than they should sell.” — Mike Maples, Jr, Partner Floodgate Fund

The Big Block

Two of the hottest projects working on institutional crypto trading platforms have been building out their teams, The Block has learned. 

Intercontinental Exchange’s Bakkt and ErisX, a Chicago-based firm, both have ambitions to dominate the institutional market for cryptocurrency trading. Bakkt, which was announced with much fanfare in August, is looking to launch a market for trading physically delivered bitcoin futures, whereas ErisX is aiming to launch its platform for crypto trading by Q2 of 2019. It has aspirations to launch a derivatives market on top of the spot market. A source close to Bakkt told this reporter that the firm’s first day of trading for its product will be December 12. Originally the firm was planning a November launch. Both ErisX and Bakkt count a long list of major Wall Street firms as backers. 

In the meantime, the two firms are building out their teams, sources close to the company’s operations tell The Block. At Bakkt, Adam White is set to join the company as chief operating officer, as The Block first reportedWhite, who previously led Coinbase’s institutional efforts, reports to Bakkt CEO Kelly Loeffler. Brian Cooper, a 10-year ICE veteran, has also joined the project’s team, a person familiar with the situation told this reporter, as director of operations. Laura Edelman, a financial sales representative, is also focusing on the launch of Bakkt’s futures product. A person familiar with the firm’s operations said the marketplace would start off small with only a few clients trading. 

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