According to Reuters, cryptocurrency wallet company Blockchain Ltd. announced on August 1, 2018, that they have hired Jamie Selway as the global head of institutional markets. Selway is an expert when it comes to the U.S. equity market structure and an electronic trading veteran.
“Jamie is an established leader in the prime brokerage industry and long-time markets leader,” said Peter Smith, Blockchain Ltd.’s chief executive officer, in an emailed statement to Reuters. “His track record and expertise will be critical to driving the development and growth of our products for institutional investors.”
Selway’s Expertise to be Critical for Blockchain Ltd’s Growth into the Institutional Investor Market
On June 28, 2018, Blockchain Ltd. announced that they were launching BPS, a product designed for institutional investors. BPS is designed to aid institutions, family offices, and individual investors with their cryptocurrency investments by providing tailored access to market and research information.
“We are thrilled to debut Blockchain Principal Strategies, an institutional grade platform,” said Smith. “BPS provides clients the opportunity to invest in digital assets with the same peace of mind and security that has become synonymous with the Blockchain name.”
Smith mentioned that with Blockchain Ltd.’s new institutional service, working with U.S. regulators like the Securities and Exchange Commission will be a strong necessity for the company. Smith intends to expand the institutional service range to include algorithmic trading services and a trading platform.
“The plan is to create a trading product,” said Smith. “Going from the existing wallet service, which is substantial in terms of size, and then building execution tools for retail, expanding the wallet into custodial services for institutions, and then executed for those institutions.”
According to the Blockchain blog, with BPS, institutional investors will have access to an over-the-counter (OTC) trading desk which offers a white-glove trading service led by a team with experience from Cooley, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and UBS. With Selway leading the institutional markets, Smith is assured that Selway’s background and experience will drive the development of the institutional investor product range, especially when it comes to working with regulators.
Smith noted that working with regulators is extremely important for building an institutional business. It will be one of Smith and Selway’s primary focuses for the upcoming months.
Selway has had extensive experience in this field. He was the former head of execution services at Investment Technology Group, an agency brokerage, and also a leading candidate to run the SEC’s trading and markets division. Selway, however, withdrew his name from consideration in September 2017. Prior to this, he also co-founded White Cap Trading, an institutional agency broker, in 2003 and was on the board of directors at Bats Global Markets, an exchange operator owned by Cboe Global Markets.
In addition to these roles, Selway was also the chief economist at Archipelago, a trading platform that merged with a variety of exchanges and banks like Goldman Sachs and Intercontinental Exchange Inc’s New York Stock Exchange.
Coinbase and Circle Launch Institutional Products As Well
Blockchain Ltd. isn’t the first company to launch products for the institutional investor market. Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase and cryptocurrency finance company Circle have both launched institutional products. Coinbase has launched four new products for institutional investors. These products include Coinbase Custody, Coinbase Markets, The Coinbase Institutional Coverage Group, and Coinbase Prime.
Adam White, the vice president and general manager of Coinbase, believes that there is strong growth to be had in institutional trading. The increase in institutional investors could mean that more capital and better infrastructure reach the cryptocurrency industry.
“We think this can unlock $10 billion of institutional investor money sitting on the sideline,” said White. “We’re seeing a rapid increase in attention awareness and adoption in the cryptocurrency market.”
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