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

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.

Read more: Schwab, Citadel Securities, Fidelity, Other Wall Street Firms Start Crypto Exchange EDX Markets

“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 to start, Nazarali said that “in the long term, or even the medium term, we will build that capability.”

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.

Read more: Wall Street Titans' New Crypto Exchange Aims to Seriously Cut Costs for 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.

Read more: Crypto Doesn't Need More Guidance, SEC Chair Gensler Says