Virtu Financial is a high-frequency trading firm and it certainly has big plans. During a question-and-answer session after the company announced its first-quarter earnings call, the firm had some strong words.
The session began when JPMorgan analyst inquired whether the firm had launched a “cyber currency trading,” platform. In response, Virtu CEO Douglas Cirfu stated that the firm is a market maker concerning bitcoin futures, although it does not currently trade bitcoin. Specifically, he stated:
“We are a market maker in the CBOE and CME [bitcoin] futures markets. We do not currently make markets in any of the cyber cash markets, primarily because of our concern around risk management. In other words, our [modus operandi] has always been to trade in transparent and regulated exchanges with centralized clearing or clearing through a prime broker. In ‘cash bitcoin’ and other cyber currencies that’s not currently available, so we have concerns around counterparty risk.” He added that the platform has “dipped a toe in but it’s a very, very small toe.”
It is also important to note that Cifu mentioned that Virtu is agnostic concerning whether the asset is “appropriate” and that the firm will be more active in the spot cryptocurrency market as regulation increases.