Former Virtu Trader Plans Decentralized Cryptocurrency Exchange

A former trader at the high frequency trading (HFT) firm Virtu Financial is launching a decentralized cryptocurrency exchange.

AccessTimeIconSep 28, 2017 at 4:15 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 6:58 a.m. UTC
10 Years of Decentralizing the Future
May 29-31, 2024 - Austin, TexasThe biggest and most established global event for everything crypto, blockchain and Web3.Register Now

A former trader at the high frequency trading (HFT) firm Virtu Financial is launching a decentralized cryptocurrency exchange.

In an interview with Bloomberg Markets, Michael Oved detailed his plans for AirSwap, one of a growing number of projects that seek to use the ethereum blockchain as a means to connect buyers and sellers directly. Oved says he hopes to draw in institutional investors, who would, through AirSwap, trade tokens through the use of smart contracts.

"There is no central exchange hub or clearinghouse, the transactions are negotiated peer-to-peer and then the swap is executed and cleared on the ethereum blockchain," he told the publication in an interview.

of using blockchain as a peer-to-peer trading infrastructure has gained traction in recent months, showcased in part by the $24 million initial coin offering (ICO) for 0x. Proponents say that decentralized exchanges avoid some of the pitfalls for more centralized options, including the risk of fraud and cyberattack.

In the interview, Oved pointed to those perceived benefits, including the resiliency created through direct trades between two parties.

"It's impossible to shut down, and you don't even need an account," Oved told Bloomberg. "People won't even know Chinese traders are on the system."

Founded in 2008, Virtu gained notoriety for the success of its high-speed trading operations. It was reported in April that Virtu would buy HFT rival KCG Holdings in a deal valued at $1.4 billion.

Image via


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk's longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to to register and buy your pass now.