New Crypto Exchange Aims to Bring What Old Crypto Hates: Wall Street Intermediaries

Jamil Nazarali, CEO of EDX Markets, joined CoinDesk TV’s “First Mover” to discuss what his new exchange means for institutional investors and why crypto’s philosophy of being an asset class without a middleman is unlikely to last.

AccessTimeIconSep 20, 2022 at 7:10 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 21, 2022 at 6:06 p.m. UTC

Fran is a writer and reporter at CoinDesk.

CORRECTION (Sept. 22, 2022 16:35 UTC) – EDX Markets will not have direct customer accounts.

With more institutions becoming more involved in offering cryptocurrency to their big clients, a new crypto exchange assembled by Wall Street heavyweights wants to bring traditional finance into digital asset trading – by using intermediaries.

Jamil Nazarali, CEO of crypto exchange EDX Markets, told CoinDesk TV’s “First Mover” on Tuesday that his exchange is bringing “the best practices from traditional finance” into the world of crypto, claiming it will make digital asset trading “safer, faster [and] more efficient” while driving down costs.

The exchange, which will serve institutional accounts, is backed by a handful of financial titans including Charles Schwab (SCHW), Fidelity Digital Assets and Citadel Securities, where Nazarali previously served as former senior executive.

“Investors in the EDX Markets are industry leaders and they are long-term players, so they’re not investing to make a quick buck,” Nazarali said. “They’re trying to invest to build the infrastructure for the future.”

While the exchange will not have direct customer accounts, Nazarali said it will work with institutional partners to enable their retail customers to independently retrieve coins traded through the EDXM exchange.

Though blockchains and their cryptocurrencies were created, in part, as a way to eliminate the need for traditional intermediaries, Nazarali says intermediaries are not going away.

“The reality is, you’re going to have an intermediary either way,” he said. He added his firm’s key objective is to get the best market price for crypto investors.

“We’re going to take the best price in the market from market makers and we’re going to match it against customers' orders that come in,” Nazarali added.

Nazarali previously told CoinDesk the firm will offer only “a handful of tokens,” including bitcoin (BTC), in a bid to avoid regulatory oversight.

Other traditional Wall Street players are jumping into crypto, but Nazarali welcomes the competition. The Nasdaq market's latest push into crypto will not mean direct competition for his exchange, Nazarali said, but it does suggest “a great development in the market.”

It will “bring more institutional players in, and we welcome it,” he said.


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Fran is a writer and reporter at CoinDesk.

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Fran is a writer and reporter at CoinDesk.

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