Forefront Communications

The Block: Crypto Exchange Launched by Former AlphaPoint Execs Turns Pricing Model on its Head with Taker Rebates

Forefront Communications

Forefront Communications

Two veterans from the traditional finance world are spearheading the launch of a new digital asset marketplace.

CrossTower — led by co-founders Kapil Rathi and Kristin Boggiano — join the ranks of exchange operators catering to the decidedly institutional crowd. Rathi previously held senior roles at Cboe, Bats, ISE and the NYSE. Boggiano, who served stints at the CFTC and the SEC, worked for Schulte Roth and Guggenheim Partners. Both Rathi and Boggiano worked for AlphaPoint, which develops white-label exchange software, serving as chief operating officer and chief legal officer, respectively.

CrossTower, which operates out of Jersey City, began its “controlled launch” in April, according to a press statement shared with The Block, with trading extended to a small group of individual users as well as participating firms. The cryptocurrencies available at launch include bitcoin, ether, zcash, litecoin and bitcoin cash.

Speaking with The Block, Boggiano touched on an oft-discussed subject in the crypto market space today: the degree of interest among institutional investors. Boggiano posited that “[t]here are many indications the institutional players have been entering and are going to continue to enter this market.”

“And it’s not just your typical high-net-worth individuals,” she remarked. “We’re seeing significant open interest at the CME. It’s generally not individuals that trade on the CME; it’s institutions. Institutions trading wheat and oil, for example, are moving into crypto futures. We are seeing an institutional shift in my opinion, as indicated by the numbers being printed.”

In conversation, Boggiano contended that the firm can competitively offer “a robust platform where market makers can feel comfortable offering tight liquidity.”

The Block Research recently examined how the space for institutional offerings has evolved in the past several years. To date, some $2.1 billion has been allocated to firms that cater to institutions.

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