Wall Street mainstays setting up digital assets exchange with on-chain settlement

Major financial firms have teamed up to create EDX Markets (EDXM), a new exchange that will trade digital assets through trusted intermediaries. The exchange will provide services to institutional and retail investors. 

The new exchange will be backed by Charles Schwab, Citadel Securities, Fidelity Digital Assets, Paradigm, Sequoia Capital and Virtu Financial, according to an announcement released Sept. 13. Jamil Nazarali has moved from Citadel Securities, where he was global head of business development, to the exchange as its CEO.

The EDXM board of directors, made up of representatives of the founding members, commented:

“Crypto is a $1 trillion global asset class with over 300 million participants and pent-up demand from millions more. […] Unlocking this demand requires a platform that can meet the needs of both retail traders and institutional investors with high compliance and security standards.”

Galaxy Digital CEO Mike Novogratz recently hinted that Fidelity would enter retail cryptocurrency trading. Citadel Securities founder Ken Griffin was a vocal critic of crypto in the past, but has become more accepting of digital assets in recent months.

Related: Charles Schwab’s asset management arm launches crypto-linked ETF

EDXM will settle trades on a blockchain through a network of digital custodians. It claimed in a statement that the exchange will “remove significant conflicts of interest that affect existing cryptocurrency exchanges by separating responsibility for operating the exchange from the entities trading on it.”

In addition, the exchange promised to “a highly liquid cryptocurrency ecosystem that aggregates liquidity from multiple market makers to reduce spreads and improve transparency.” Paradigm recently partnered with FTX to provide spreads trading of eight cryptocurrencies.

The exchange will operate on technology developed by the Members Exchange (MEMX), a stock exchange set up by many of the same founding firms in 2019.

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