OTC Trading Desk Launches as Crypto Wallet Provider Expands Tool Set

Blockchain just launched an OTC trading desk in an effort to attract institutional investors. The news was revealed online earlier today, signaling that yet another major crypto company sees potential in attracting institutional investors to the space.

Over the counter (OTC) trading is used by larger investors to facilitate trades without affecting the exchange’s main orderbooks. When a high net worth individual or institutional investor wants to move thousands of bitcoins, they might use an OTC trading desk. Today, major exchanges like Gemini and Coinbase operate OTC trading desks catered to larger investors.

Now, Blockchain has announced its own OTC trading desk. The European crypto wallet provider has launched an OTC trading desk that matches large crypto traders with one another to keep major trades away from exchanges.

This report comes from Frank Chaparro at The Block Crypto, who cites “a person familiar with the firm’s business.”

According to the report, Blockchain’s OTC desk is being run by former DRW fixed-income trader Vince Machi. Jamie Selway is also leading the project. Selway first joined Blockchain in August after leaving his position as US Head of Execution Services at institutional broker ITG. Former Goldman Sachs executive Breanne Madigan is also reportedly involved with Blockchain’s OTC trading desk. Breanne first joined Blockchain in April 2018.

The move is part of a broader push by Blockchain to attract institutional investors to their platform and to the crypto industry in general. Today, Blockchain has a userbase of 28 million wallets.

Blockchain plans to cater to institutional investors with more than just an OTC trading desk. The company is also rolling out custody services to institutions, for example, that will allow institutions to keep crypto funds safe while still participating in the industry.

The report also suggests that the timing of Blockchain’s OTC market launch is significant because the company is positioning itself for the next bull run – not just trying to attract current business away from larger OTC exchanges:

“The point of the desk, according to a source, is to position the firm for the market’s next bull-run, rather than to aggressively cut into the market-share of existing players.”

The company’s OTC market launch has been rolling out over the past several weeks. News of Blockchain’s OTC launch, however, didn’t the internet until September 24.

Blockchain still hasn’t confirmed the launch of its OTC trading services. The company’s institutional support page makes no mention of its OTC trading desk. Nevertheless, reports online claim that Blockchain has been successfully operating the OTC trading desk throughout September 2018.

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