Virtu Sees Crypto Market-Making Opportunity, Has Little Confidence in Incumbents, CEO Says

Virtu Financial's CEO is positive on building a crypto marketplace with Citadel Securities.

AccessTimeIconJun 9, 2022 at 4:29 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 6:53 p.m. UTC

Virtu Financial (VIRT) sees a market-making opportunity in crypto as demand for the asset class grows, CEO Douglas Cifu said Wednesday during Piper Sandler’s global exchange and brokerage conference.

Cifu said he doesn’t hold a view on the crypto sector apart from wanting to build a proper ecosystem for institutions and thinks there’s a lack of confidence in the incumbent companies.

Citadel Securities approached New York-based Virtu, a high-frequency trading and market-making firm, on creating a crypto marketplace, according to Cifu. He sees room to collaborate in creating a platform that can scale, and one in which institutions have trust and want to participate should interest in crypto grow.

“I don’t think that there’s a great deal of confidence” in a lot of the incumbents or newer players in the space, Cifu said. “Citadel is an amazing firm, and they’re a great partner.”

CoinDesk reported earlier this week that U.S. electronic trading giant Citadel Securities is working with Virtu to build a “cryptocurrency trading ecosystem,” with venture capital firms Sequoia Capital and Paradigm also participating. Citadel Securities is the sister company to hedge fund giant Citadel.


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Michael Bellusci is CoinDesk's crypto reporter focused on public companies and digital asset firms.

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