ErisX, the crypto trading platform backed by brokerage house TD Ameritrade, is planning to launch bitcoin futures trading tomorrow. The New York-based company sent an alert to investors and traders informing them about the launch. Not much detail is known about the futures products on offer, except for the fact that they will be physically delivered.
ErisX plans to tap the market for regulated crypto products in an industry that has gained a reputation as something of a Wild West. In an earlier interview, TD Ameritrade CEO Steven Quirk said they’ve had “off the charts” attendance at bitcoin education events, and that they had received calls and emails from investors interested in trading crypto.
To that end, the company claims to fill a “structural gap” in crypto markets by bringing them on par with equity markets. Its futures solution is targeted at large institutional trading brokers and was approved for a Derivatives Clearing Organization (DCO) license this past July.
Simultaneously, it has also set up a system for a “low-friction” way for traders to access crypto. Matt Trudeau, chief strategy officer at ErisX, told the Castle Island Ventures podcast that this meant making it easy and familiar for existing traders to interact with crypto.
For example, ErisX integrated with GMI, a back-office solution for clearing and accounting system for derivatives popular with Futures Commission Merchants (FCM). According to Crunchbase, ErisX has raised a total of $47.5 million from a bunch of well-known investors, including TD Ameritrade, CME Ventures, and Digital Currency Group.
Rival Bakkt, which promises similar end-to-end regulated experience for investors, already launched in September and currently offers physical- and cash-settled monthly bitcoin futures contracts, as well as options contracts on its platform. Given the pools of industry expertise available with their senior management, both institutions could signal a new, regulated identity for cryptocurrencies.