UPDATE (17th April 9:30 GMT): SecondMarket has not yet launched its institutional bitcoin exchange – it’s expected later this year. However, the company has added a new page to their website for “market making” as clarified by founder and CEO Barry Silbert over Twitter:
FYI, we did NOT launch a digital currency exchange today. Just added a new web page for our bitcoin “market making” https://t.co/PoeNmfN2ZS
— Barry Silbert (@barrysilbert) April 16, 2014
New York-based SecondMarket previously confirmed that it will launch a professional-level bitcoin exchange service for institutional traders (including banks, hedge funds, brokers and bitcoin companies) later this year.
That effort is still ongoing, and will be separate from the SecondMarket brand acccording to Barry Silbert:
“This is not the digital exchange effort, which will be launched separate from SecondMarket under a different name,” he said.
SecondMarket, a registered broker-dealer that has experience offering unique asset classes and alternative investments, is already targeting investors interested in trading a minimum of 25 BTC per trade for its market making service.
Notably, however, that level of bitcoin trading is in a market that has seen bitcoin exchanges struggle to fill orders, according to investors familiar with institution-level BTC trading.
25 BTC minimum
According to recent CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index values, 25 BTC is worth more than $12,000.
SecondMarket, as a result, is targeting investors who seek to move large amounts of bitcoin, a market that only a few companies are currently able to provide.
SecondMarket made an announcement that it would get into the bitcoin exchange business earlier this year, and this is a new landing page to attract accredited investors through its website.
According to information posted on the SecondMarket site, aspiring exchange customers must first complete a compliance application and speak with one of the exchange’s representatives before trading.
Bitcoin Investment Trust
SecondMarket also offers a product called the Bitcoin Investment Trust, which founder Barry Silbert says already holds 100,000 bitcoins. Silbert has long been bullish on the long-term prospects of bitcoin, and his connections to the financial world give SecondMarket a degree of credibility in the digital currency industry.
— Barry Silbert (@barrysilbert) April 10, 2014
Silbert recently told CoinDesk that 15% of institutional investors were already bitcoin believers.
Adam Draper, founder of Boost VC, which invests in bitcoin companies, shared his thoughts on the launch with CoinDesk:
“I think that Barry Silbert is one of the lead pioneers and innovators in the Bitcoin space. He is really sticking his neck out for mass adoption of bitcoin and I love it.”
With hedge funds such as Pantera Capital going all-bitcoin, and the support of Fortress Investments and others, interest from Wall Street seems to be on the rise.
Bankers and investment professionals are also expected to mingle with bitcoin professionals at Money 2020 later on this year, an annual event that will attract thousands in the finance industry.
Image via SecondMarket