TP Icap is seeking UK regulatory approval for a new institutional-grade spot trading platform for cryptoassets, including bitcoin and ethereum.
The interdealer broker is working with Fidelity Digital Assets and Zodia Custody to develop the new trading model, where clients will be able to access liquidity at TP Icap whilst their assets remain under custody at their digital asset custodian of choice.
TP Icap launched its Digital Assets business in 2019, enabling clients to trade cryptoasset derivatives products; this new trading platform for the spot market significantly expands the firm’s footprint in this fast-growing area.
Simon Forster, co-head of digital assets at TP Icap, says: “Client demand to trade spot cryptoassets is significant and growing, with interest coming from our traditional customer base across the different asset classes we operate in. But to date many of our clients have been prevented from accessing cryptoasset markets due to current limitations in market infrastructure, with most execution venues requiring pre-funding and also acting as custodian. This poses challenges from a conflict of interest perspective and results in fragmented liquidity. Our partnership, and resultant new platform, is a natural evolution in market structure that will make digital assets, such as Bitcoin, more accessible for the wholesale market.”
The platform has already started to onboard clients and will launch to the market in the second half of the year. TP Icap has partnered with Flow Traders as one of the initial liquidity providers for the electronic marketplace and is also working with a number of additional custody partners to grow its bandwidth post-launch.
The TP Icap Digital Assets business operates from the firm’s offices in London, New York, and will soon expand into Asia.
Andrew Polydor, global head of markets at TP Icap, said: “This platform will provide our global client base with the trading infrastructure, connectivity, surveillance, and market standards they require as a minimum across traditional markets whilst also recognising the nuances of this new asset class. It leverages mature trading technology developed by our partners GMEX Technologies, to provide spot liquidity in digital assets as well as access to multiple custodians via a bespoke post-trade solution. These are key requirements for our institutional clients who want to be able to trade, invest and safely access this growing area of the market.”
Zodia Custody is a venture incubated by SC Ventures, the innovation arm of Standard Chartered. The fintech is in the process of registering with the FCA under UK Money Laundering Regulations and expects to launch commercially in the second half of 2021.