Last month, the highly anticipated federally regulated platform for Bitcoin (BTC) futures trading, Bakkt, Launched. Amidst high expectations that were boosted by crypto twitter and media hype, Bakkt failed to excel on its first day of trading. The platform had just sold 71 contracts and volume picked up slowly in the following days. Adding to the woes, the day after launch was a bad day for BTC as it dropped 13%. Many felt the drop was a result of Bakkt’s slow first-day performance. The expectations of drawing in fresh institutional money were done for, as the poor performance of such an anticipated platform indicates the level of interest that institutional investors have for crypto assets.
However, making another attempt at drawing in institutional money into the crypto industry, BlockFi, a nonbank cryptocurrency lending start-up, has launched BlockFi institutional services. This is a platform that is built to provide institutional investors like market-makers, hedge funds and exchanges exposure to various financial solutions for digital assets, according to a BitcoinMagazine report published on October 17, 2019.
As per the report, the BlockFi Institutional Services will allow investors to access various enterprise-grade solutions for blockchain-based virtual currencies. The project will be led by institutional investment veteran Rene van Kesteren – the leadership for BlockFi Institutional Services comes from an institutional investment background and this would provide a much better insight into the situation than coming from someone from the crypto-asset industry itself.
Zac Prince BlockFi founder and CEO mentioned in a statement that BlockFi’s main priority in the institutional space is “to build a secure, best-in-breed platform for institutions to work with BlockFi in a way that facilitates liquidity and growth in the ecosystem. Institutional clients can expect to benefit from the same client dedication and value delivery we show for our retail clients.”
BlockFi did not provide a timeline or a supposed launch date but said it will be rolling out the services in the near future. It added that Gemini crypto exchange will provide custodial services to clients that’ll be using this platform. Gemini and BlockFi are already in an on-going partnership since earlier this year when BlockFi rolled out support for the Gemini dollar (GUSD) stablecoin. BlockFi added that they’ll reveal further details during a presentation which is scheduled to be held at the Futures Industry Association’s (FIA) exposition in Chicago being held from October 29 to 31, 2019.
In conclusion, Prince further explained that:
“At BlockFi our goal has always been to offer a bridge between traditional finance and digital currencies, so whether we’re serving individual investors or large financial institutions, our products fill that same critical gap in the world of cryptocurrencies. With that said, the impact in offering these solutions to institutions means we’re helping the larger traditional financial ecosystem become more adapted to digital currencies. The core impact on this space should be increased liquidity and a more robust capital market.”