Crypto Broker Hidden Road Collaborates With Confidential Exchange Enclave Markets

The partnership combines a confidential trading environment with execution and settlement done directly from custody via Hidden Road’s network.

AccessTimeIconJul 27, 2023 at 1:00 p.m. UTC
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Hidden Road, a cryptocurrency brokerage and credit network for institutions, has entered into a partnership with Enclave Markets, a fully encrypted exchange that allows participants to confidentially trade blocks of digital assets.

Front-running of trades is an acute problem in crypto, which features unique issues like maximal extracted value (MEV), where blockchain miners and verifiers can profit from pending transactions. Traders at competing firms may also avoid trading with one another to prevent potential information leakage, hence the need for an anonymous trading environment.

Enclave, an idea originally proposed and incubated by the Ava Labs team, has coded up a exchange matching engine and account management system inside an Intel Software Guard Extensions (SGX) secure enclave, a type of hardware used to minimize cyber security threats.

Enclave’s Fully Encrypted Exchange, or FEX, offers a confidential trading environment rather like a dark pool in traditional markets. The model essentially creates a crossing network using a pricing oracle to establish a midpoint price for an asset, averaged across various trading venues.

When a user logs on, funds an account and submits an order, they only need the size and direction of the proposed trade; they don’t need to put in the price, because all the trades are matched at that midpoint price whenever there’s liquidity on the other side, explained Enclave Markets CEO David Wells.

The partnership with Hidden Road further assures institutions since trading and settlement of assets is done directly from custody, with the added buying power of a credit line that’s typically offered by prime brokers.

“Traditional institutions don’t want to integrate directly with exchanges, send their funds and have that counterparty risk,” said Wells in an interview with CoinDesk. “An API call allows you to submit your order to the Enclave marketplace liquidity pool. We then match that order and report that trade back to Hidden Road, who do all the settlement and clearing on their side, netting those trades out against other trades done that day in different venues.”

As well as integrating with Hidden Road’s network of custodians, Enclave is also partnering directly with custody platforms, including BitGo, Wells pointed out.

Hidden Road, which raised $50 million last year from big players like Citadel Securities and Coinbase, has been busy adding partners in bid to build more grown-up crypto trading infrastructure.

“Enclave’s novel, albeit familiar, approach offers Hidden Road counterparties a secure, anonymous and streamlined option for trading digital assets,” said Michael Higgins, Global Head of Business Development at Hidden Road in a statement.

Edited by Parikshit Mishra.


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Ian Allison

Ian Allison is an award-winning senior reporter at CoinDesk. He holds ETH.

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