TD Ameritrade announced on Wednesday that the company is investing in the ErisX exchange, according to a report from CNBC. During a phone interview, TD Ameritrade futures and foreign exchange managing director JB Mackenzie confirmed that the Omaha-based brokerage firm’s clients have been requesting greater access to cryptocurrency trading.
"We continue to see our retail clients seeking access to trade digital currency products. We wanted to find a platform that would be fully regulated, and something that has that capital markets feel."
The ErisX platform offers services that include futures trading and bitcoin spot trading. In addition, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission regulates the exchange, a fact that Mackenzie referred to as a prerequisite for investment by Ameritrade. The company was also attracted to the exchange’s offerings:
Another key feature for the deal was that this exchange offers access to both futures and physical bitcoin products, Mackenzie said. Coinbase, reportedly valued at $8 billion, only offers spot trading of bitcoin. ErisX supports trading, deposits and withdrawals for bitcoin, bitcoin cash, ethereum, and litecoin
Mackenzie acknowledged that demand for Bitcoin has declined since the end of 2017, but suggested that his clients are still eager to include the digital currency in their financial portfolios:
"It's a young product in fast moving ecosystem, and while bitcoin may not have the same demand as it did in December, there is still demand nonetheless. We listened to our customers — what we continued to hear was that they wanted access to trade digital currency products."