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U.K Brokerage Firm TP ICAP to Trade Bitcoin Derivatives

According to a Bloomberg article published on June 17, 2019, financial services firm TP ICAP is set to enter the cryptocurrency industry starting with offering cash-settled futures contracts on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME).

Another Finance Firm Forays into the Crypto Industry

As bitcoin (BTC) looks to regain its lost momentum, a number of traditional firms are steadily warming up to the unpredictable crypto waters to rejuvenate their slowing core businesses – the latest being TP ICAP.

Per sources close to the matter, the company’s ICAP offshoot now enables its customers to buy and sell CME bitcoin futures. The company’s new crypto venture is based out of London and is overseen by Simon Forster and Duncan Trenholme. Going forward, the firm also plans to add non-deliverable forwards tied to bitcoin and open new trading desks in the U.S. and Asia, the report reads.

Speaking to Bloomberg, Trenholme, the co-head of digital asset markets said:

Every institution is on an educational journey. Many are exploring how tokens can legitimately be traded or stored and I’d expect more projects to hit the market over the next year or two.

ICAP’s entry into the digital assets industry follows the movement of various financial juggernauts that are becoming more comfortable dealing in the emerging asset class.

Wall Street giant Fidelity Investments is already burning the midnight oil to launch its own digital assets trading desk to cater to the institutional appetite for cryptocurrencies. Similarly, Bakkt’s physically settled bitcoin futures have kept the crypto industry waiting anxiously, albeit for too long due to regulatory hurdles.

ICAP Digital Assets Trading

Investors interested in dealing with crypto-assets through ICAP are required to complete the firm’s Know-Your-Customer (KYC) Anti-Money Laundering (AML) checks. These measures explain why the firm chose to deal in cash-settled futures contracts that trade on a regulated market instead of venturing directly into the largely unregulated crypto market. However, the company has not dismissed the possibility of dealing directly in the cryptocurrency market in the future.

Forster said:

We want to be close to what’s happening within this nascent asset class because we believe it’s important to invest in the early stages of a growing market.

It’s worth pointing out that at present, the CME is the only regulated BTC futures trading platform in the world as Cboe Global Markets Inc. is expected to suspend trading on bitcoin futures contracts this week indefinitely.

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