TD Ameritrade

TD Ameritrade “Just Went Full Crypto” by Partnering with ErisX Crypto Exchange

US brokerage firm TD Ameritrade just made a huge bet on cryptocurrency by partnering with ErisX, a new crypto startup that will offer bitcoin spot and futures trading. As CNBC reported earlier today during an interview with a company representative, TD Ameritrade “just went full crypto” by partnering with ErisX.

TD Ameritrade’s strategic investment in ErisX was first reported on Wednesday. On Thursday, TD Ameritrade executive Steve Quirk joined Melissa Lee on CNBC’s Fast Money to discuss the move.

Lee asked a number of questions about TD Ameritrade’s move, including what it means for bitcoin markets and how the new crypto exchange could integrate with TD Ameritrade’s existing userbase. One thing that Quirk said should have crypto users particularly excited for the future.

“Is this going to be a seamless experience if I have an account and I want to trade Bitcoin Cash or bitcoin futures?” asked Lee during the interview.

“Yeah that’s where we’re working towards,” responded Quirk.

In other words, if you’re an existing TD Ameritrade customer, then you may be able to buy and sell cryptocurrencies within your TD Ameritrade dashboard by the end of 2019. ErisX is on schedule to launch before the end of 2019, although the company behind ErisX has operated a regulated trading platform since 2010.

The fact that TD Ameritrade customers would be able to trade directly from their account screen is huge news for cryptocurrency users. Obviously, ErisX is still a year away from offering that capability to clients – but it’s still very much a possibility for the near future.

Quirk also explained what TD Ameritrade can bring to the table in terms of optimizing the ErisX user experience for clients:

“…I think the appeal for us is in, you have the biggest players in the bitcoin space from a market making side, both DRW and Virtu are here. If you have people that are very well versed in this space, then what we’re bringing to the table as a strategic investor and an advisor is a pretty deep understanding of our 11 plus million clients and understanding what they look for when it comes to a product.”

Quirk also expressed confidence in the Eris Exchange leadership team, emphasizing the fact that the company isn’t a brand new startup: they’re an experienced team that has been successfully running a regulated trading platform for seven years:

“They’ve been licensed since 2010 as a regulated entity. They’re in the process of becoming licensed as a clearing house as well,” explains Quirk.

The next step for ErisX and its strategic partners is to wait for CFTC approval. Once approved, ErisX will begin competing with companies like Bakkt and Coinbase to provide efficient crypto onboarding services to retail and institutional investors.

One of the most exciting parts about this ErisX news is that TD Ameritrade is just one of several major partners involved with the company out of the gate. The exchange is also supported by DRW, Virtu, Cboe, Digital Currency Group, and others.

Many crypto analysts suggest that Bakkt could be the biggest crypto news stories of the year. Now, ErisX is already gearing up to be the biggest news story of 2019. Within a year, we could have crypto trading directly within TD Ameritrade accounts for users, potentially opening easy crypto access to millions of new users.

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