TP ICAP, a United Kingdom-based interdealer broker will start offering bitcoin (BTC) financial derivatives to its users, as reported by Bloomberg on June 17.
The report states that the firm’s ICAP unit now allows its users to buy or sell the Chicago Mercantile Exchange’s (CME) bitcoin futures. The Chicago Board Options Exchange’s bitcoin futures will expire in June with no current plans for renewal. This will leave CME as the sole offerer of BTC futures.
Reportedly, TP ICAP further plans to add non-deliverable forwards tied to Bitcoin and to open desks in Asia and the United States. As per the publication, the company planned as such to decrease of its core business model:
“Interdealer brokers have traditionally relied on handling trades for banks, but their volumes shrunk in the aftermath of the financial crisis. A profit warning last year wiped 36% from TP ICAP’s market value in a day. It’s regained about 10% since then to 1.6 billion pounds ($2 billion).”
The report further noted that customers will have to comply with Know Your Client and Anti-Money Laundering regulations so as to access bitcoin through the firm’s services. Moreover, TP ICAP is reportedly also considering other digital assets like altcoins and tokenized, to be real-world assets. Duncan Trenholme, the firm’s head of digital asset market, was quoted by Bloomberg:
“We want to be close to what’s happening within this nascent asset class because we believe it’s important to invest in the early stages of a growing market. […] TP ICAP also understands that this technology could disrupt or impact other asset classes where we currently operate, so we feel it’s important to be informed.”
The company’s 2018 financial results disclosed revenue of £1,763 billion ($2.219 billion) for TP ICAP last year. On June 14, Bitcoin surpassed one million daily active addresses as per the blockchain statistics website CoinMetrics.
Image Source – TP ICAP Twitter