• The trading firms intend to create “more efficient access to deep pools of liquidity for digital assets”
  • New platform to launch either later this year or in early 2023

Market-makers Citadel Securities and Virtu Financial are in the process of building a cryptocurrency trading platform, a source familiar with the matter told Blockworks.

Both firms, along with other industry leaders, “are working closely together to create a crypto marketplace that is efficient, transparent and secure, with agreed upon standards and best practices,” the source said.

“This new trading ecosystem will create more efficient access to deep pools of liquidity for digital assets,” they added.

Citadel Securities, the sister business of hedge fund giant Citadel, is owned by billionaire Ken Griffin. He was earlier known for having an anti-crypto stance, trashing the assets and the efforts of their cheerleaders as a “jihadist call.” But he admitted to changing his mind earlier this year, saying Citadel Securities could soon be involved in digital assets. And in January, crypto-savvy venture capital firms Sequoia and Paradigm invested $1.15 billion in Citadel Securities.

This push into digital assets demonstrates the growing involvement of traditional financial firms in blockchain technology, especially as Web3 disruptions take center stage in the market.

Retail brokerages Fidelity Investments and Charles Schwab are helping the trading firms expand access to digital assets by developing a crypto offering, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Also involved in setting up the marketplace are tech-focused venture capital firms Sequoia Capital and Paradigm, CoinDesk reported, citing a source familiar with the plans. Other market makers, wealth managers and industry leaders are expected to join the marketplace before its launch.

The trading consortium is addressing the deficiency in the current crypto market structure that’s holding back wider adoption, CoinDesk said. 

Currently in early-stage development, the trading platform is expected to launch in late 2022 or early next year, according to Bloomberg.

Representatives of Citadel Securities declined to comment. Virtu didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from Blockworks.

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  • Blockworks
    Shalini is a crypto reporter from Bangalore, India who covers developments in the market, regulation, market structure, and advice from institutional experts. Prior to Blockworks, she worked as a markets reporter at Insider and a correspondent at Reuters News. She holds some bitcoin and ether. Reach her at [email protected]