ErisX moved one step closer to its second quarter opening by beefing up its executive staff with three industry veterans. Thomas Chippas, the CEO of ErisX, recently described his initiative’s primary objective:
ErisX stands to provide the most robust, secure and regulated digital asset offering available to both institutional and individual participants.
To achieve such lofty goals, the ErisX project would have to attract the finest the industry has to offer, and it appears that Chippas has done just that. Senior executives from such firms as Barclays and YouTube/Google have joined his staff.
Robert Thrash, Barclays’ former Chief Operating Officer, chose to leave behind an 11-year career of various leadership positions at the global bank to join the ErisX executive team. His last position at Barclays (NYSE:BCS) was as managing director of agency derivatives services, a position with responsibility over the bank’s over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives clearing, futures execution and clearing, and foreign exchange prime brokerage.
Thrash is keen on the cryptocurrency space and noted:
Crypto sits at the intersection of technology, finance and regulation. Regulation will continue to evolve and impact this space bringing transparency to the market, which in turn should lead to increasingly active participation by traditional financial intermediaries. As these intermediaries provide market access to new market participants, a whole host of trading technology, crypto-based products and financing solutions will need to be created.
Arnold Connell will join ErisX as its head of infrastructure. He has spent over a decade with Google in various roles, most recently as senior technical program manager for YouTube, primarily overseeing its YouTubeTV streaming service.
Lastly, John Denza will head business development for ErisX, after leaving his job as head of U.S. sales at Pico Quantitative Trading. Prior to Pico, he served as director of U.S. sales for equities and derivatives for BATS Global Markets (eventually acquired by Cboe Global Markets).
These three gentlemen join another recent addition to the ErisX executive suite, Matthew Trudeau, formerly the president of the blockchain startup Tradewind and head of product for IEX. He will assume the chief strategy officer role.
An ebullient Thomas Chippas acknowledged that:
We are leveraging our industry relationships to secure talent and build the most robust, secure and regulated platform for digital assets. This is the beginning of a new asset class. The leaders in this space are still being developed as are the biggest players still being built.
ErisX made headline news back in December when it successfully completed its second funding round for $27.5 million. The amount may not have sounded significant, but a few of the investors certainly drew attention. Fidelity Investments and the Nasdaq, the second largest stock exchange in the world, had participated, along with mining giant Bitmain and Ethereum development studio ConsenSys, two notable crypto firms. The Monex Group also participated in that funding round, as well.
ErisX is laying the groundwork for major institutional players to join the crypto bandwagon in a big way by providing the necessary tools that large investors expect, while also addressing their major concerns related to fear of fraud and price manipulation, liquidity and price volatility, adequate security measures, and protective custodial arrangements. By design, all regulatory issues will be addressed, as well.
The premier exchange plans to launch in the second quarter by providing spot trading for bitcoin, bitcoin cash, ether and litecoin, followed by futures trading for those same assets in the second half of the year. The firm is presently seeking a derivatives clearing organization (DCO) license from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).