By Bill Taylor/Contributor
It all comes back to the Windy City. Once again, Chicago is becoming the ‘go-to’ place for trading innovation and expertise. In this case the newest financial products are cryptocurrencies and, once again, Chicago is gearing up to be the biggest and best market for trading in cryptos.
With 170 years of experience in trading futures, options and basically all financial instruments, the Chicago financial community is ready to roll. Although the crypto market is relatively small (only around $335 billion), it is rapidly expanding with the formation of regulatory guidelines. The Windy City’s institutional “players” beginning to get involved in cryptocurrencies include the Chicago Board of Trade (part of the CME Group), the Cboe (largest options exchange) and the CME platform itself, making Chicago ground zero for liquidity in digital currency trading.
While a lot of folks are now becoming acquainted with bitcoin, ethereum and cryptos in general, most will not recognize many of the firms in Chicago that are actually making things happen. Firms with a Chicago presence include names like Bcause (that is the correct spelling), Cumberland Mining, Jump Capital and many others are able to draw not only experienced firm leaders but also highly talented new faces that have ties to the derivative trading community.
Chicago’s vast experience in developing innovative trading platforms makes it a natural to adapt the latest technology to the crypto space. And, let’s not forget, the CME Group and Cboe Global Markets ALREADY have bitcoin futures and have now been FOLLOWED by Coinbase, Kraken and startups like Chicago-based Bitnomial (awaiting CFTC approval).
As a former (and original) member of the Cboe, I can see the same competitive spirit rising between New York and Chicago. New York has the big banks and “traditional” investment banks BUT Chicago has an entrepreneur spirit that just screams innovation (old days; suits vs cowboys). Just take a peek at Bcause which is totally a vertical firm that will include mining, clearing and trading. So, Silicon Valley, Zug and others can develop new crypto products BUT without trading liquidity, they “ain’t got nothing”. Now, if Chicago can just develop a warm winter………
Bill Taylor is Managing Partner at Fintek Capital & a frequent contributor to FintekNews