Former Morgan Stanley Developers Launch Crypto Derivatives Exchange

Eight former core developers from financial services company Morgan Stanley have launched Phemex, a new cryptocurrency derivatives trading platform, in Singapore.

In a press release shared with Cointelegraph on Dec. 4, the former Morgan Stanley developers claim the platform is ten times faster than traditional crypto trading platforms, while offering 100x leverage to both retail and institutional investors in Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) and Ripple (XRP) perpetual contracts.

Exchange is “on par with Nasdaq”

In the near future, these contracts will reportedly also be backed by traditional financial products, such as stock indexes, interest rates, foreign exchange, agricultural commodities, and metals and energy. Phemex co-founder Jack Tao said:

“We are the first exchange to truly bring Wall Street level sophistication to the worldwide crypto derivatives markets. Our matching engine, trading engine, and risk engine were six months in the making, putting the platform technically on par with Nasdaq.” 

Tao, who spent 11 years as an executive at Morgan Stanley, told Cointelegraph that the platform was looking to add options trading soon. In launching Phemex, Tao assembled a team of more than 30 senior developers. He explained:

“We’re not just providing the functionality for trading. As executives from Morgan Stanley, we know what kind of ways, what kind of direction, or what kind of architecture can support high-frequency trading, stability, and low latency. This is where Phemex excels — our expertise allows us to compete with and outperform existing platforms.”

Tao told Cointelegraph that since the Nov. 25 launch, Phemex has seen volume of around 1000 BTC per day on BTC/USD contracts. 

Singapore regulators take a closer look at crypto derivatives

In November, Singapore’s central bank and financial regulator, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), proposed to bring crypto derivatives trading under its purview. The MAS’ proposal would make the trading of derivatives based on underlying assets like Bitcoin and Ether subject to the city-state’s Securities and Futures Act. For Phemex, a Singapore-domiciled company, the proposal by the MAS comes at a perfect time as it may soon allow cryptocurrency-based derivatives to be traded on regulated platforms.

Bakkt Bitcoin Futures Open Interest Hits New All-Time High of $6.54M

Bitcoin (BTC) futures open interest on digital asset platform Bakkt has hit a new all-time high.

According to a Dec. 3 Twitter post published on Dec. 3 by Bakkt Volume Bot — a Twitter account dedicated to reporting Bakkt trading volumes — Monday’s open interest on Bakkt Bitcoin futures reached a new all-time high of $6.5 million.

In futures markets, open interest is the number of open contracts in the market and is often used to indicate the health of the market. When there is a large amount of open interest, new or additional capital is flowing in. 

Regularly breaking records

The reported open interest is a 42% increase from the previous day, which was an all-time high as well. Last Friday and Saturday saw open interest records of $4.2 million and $4.3  million, respectively.

The platform’s trading volumes have been continuously breaking records since its launch in September. At the end of November, daily volumes on the platform hit a new all-time high of over $42.5 million — or 4,443 BTC at the time.

Also in November, Bakkt’s chief operating officer Adam White announced the firm’s move to include a cash-settled option in an apparent bid to further increase the platform’s popularity among investors. The Intercontinental Exchange — Bakkt’s parent company — later confirmed the launch of the option for Dec. 9.

Bakkt’s management could also soon start influencing United States’ cryptocurrency regulation. As Cointelegraph reported on Dec. 1, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp is expected to appoint Bakkt chief executive officer Kelly Loeffler for a United States Senate seat.

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