Aspiring crypto derivatives provider ErisX took one step closer to its ultimate goal Tuesday with the launch of a spot market.
The exchange announced that it will immediately support dollar trading pairs with bitcoin, bitcoin cash, litecoin and ethereum, as well as bitcoin trading pairs with the other three cryptocurrencies at launch. While ErisX has a number of firms looking to trade on its platform at launch, it did not disclose any names.
Chief strategy officer Matt Trudeau told CoinDesk that, at launch, ErisX’s platform will include both its exchange and clearinghouse, allowing it to take custody of both cash and cryptocurrencies. That being said, he added:
“The spot market is really the first component of our overall corporate strategy of what we’re looking to do in 2019.”
While the spot market launch is a “major milestone,” Trudeau sees it as merely an initial step in the company’s broader road map. Up next is ErisX’s derivatives offerings, which are still pending regulatory approval. Should the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) sign off on the startup’s derivatives clearing organization (DCO) license application, it plans to also offer futures on each of those cryptocurrencies as well.
Trudeau was not able to speak to ErisX’s progress with the application process, saying only, “We are engaged in an active dialogue with the CFTC and appreciate the staff’s diligence in reviewing our application.”
Although ErisX is formally launching its spot market Tuesday, the exchange still has work to complete, said CEO Thomas Chippas in a statement.
“We know that a launch such as this is a process, not a one-off event,” he said. “We are moving from an initial phase to a public launch, and will continue to work with our partners, investors and regulators to expand access.”
Trudeau concurred, saying that many of ErisX’s current team have backgrounds working with exchanges and clearinghouses. Just launching a platform is a “nontrivial” amount of work, which is then followed by onboarding clients.
“Some people will be there in time for your production launch, others will be later,” he said.
Still, he anticipates that ErisX will see customers for both its spot and futures market onboard in the coming months, as the exchange continues developing its platform.
“We look forward to a point where exchanges become so reliable and so performant that the market almost starts to take them for granted, that [they may already] do for other, more mature capital markets,” he said. “In terms of fundamental infrastructure, we hope to make a competent [platform], that people confidently use our exchange and clearinghouse.”
ErisX is continuing to build out its technology, as well as raise funds to support it, Trudeau told CoinDesk.
“There’s a process to building a new market, so the exchange technology needs to be deployed, the [clearinghouse] stack needs to be deployed and tested, there also needs to be new clients,” he said.
To continue developing these technology stacks, ErisX has just raised a third round of Series B investments, adding another $20 million to its total.
Arc Light Securities, Castle Island Ventures, Dragonfly Capital Partners, Flow Traders, Tradestation, NYDIG, Cboe Global Markets, CMT Digital, ConsenSys, CTC, DRW Venture Capital, ED&F Man Capital Markets, Nasdaq Ventures, Pantera Capital, Susquehanna International and Virtu Financial all participated in the round.
ErisX also raised $27.5 million as part of its Series B round last December, which saw many of the same firms participate, alongside Bitmain, Fidelity Investments and Monex Group. TD Ameritrade has also backed the exchange in the past.
The initial amount raised during its Series B was not disclosed, and it is not clear how much in total ErisX has raised to date.
ErisX CEO Thomas Chippas image via CoinDesk archives