FintekNews is pleased to offer our weekly feature column “3 Questions With…”. Each week, we feature a thought leader within a unique sector of fintech and ask them to answer just 3 questions for our audience in their vernacular. This week we’d like to to introduce you to Jean-Christophe Laruelle, COO of Crypto Facilities, a trading platform for digital currencies. The firm is focused on derivatives products, regulated by the FCA, and currently offers futures on Bitcoin (XBT) and futures on Ripple (XRP). In addition, they are launching two new bitcoin indexes on 11/14 in conjunction with the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.
NAME: Jean-Christophe Laruelle
COMPANY: Crypto Facilities
WEB ADDRESS: https://www.cryptofacilities.com
How did you personally become involved in fintech?
I worked as an IT specialist in investment banks during the last 20 years, for trading desks but also for middle and back office teams, essentially at BNP and Société Générale. I also worked on personal trading related projects during the last 10 years, focused on stocks and derivatives trading systems. When I discovered in 2013 the Bitcoin currency, it was clear to me this technology would have a big impact in the finance world, for several reasons:There would be no more need for central counterparties.
- Crypto currencies were easy to transfer and settle.
- Bitcoin could be used as a secured store of value.
- Bitcoin was completely decorrelated with other assets, making it a very interesting asset to trade.
Looking back at 2014, the trading vehicles for crypto currencies were very limited, essentially only spot exchanges were available on not so professional websites. It was clear that there was something to bring from finance professionals into the area, to make bitcoin more usable, more legit, a standard asset to be used by professionals. There were almost no derivatives exchanges for cryptocurrencies. I met at this time Timo SCHLAEFER, ex Executve Director in Quantitative Modelling at Goldman Sachs in London, and we were both convinced a professional grade derivatives market place could bring a lot to the crypto currencies market. We created Crypto Facilities, started the development of the platform in mid 2014 and launched official trading in February 2015.
What does your firm do/offer within the fintech sector?
Crypto Facilities is a trading platform for digital currencies, focused on derivatives products, regulated by the FCA. At the moment we offer futures on Bitcoin (XBT) and futures on Ripple (XRP). We plan to offer many new product types soon. We also developped 2 Bitcoin Indices with Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), a daily index and a real time index. Indices, we believe, will have great success because there is not any existing equivalent at the moment. These indices will enable the launch of many new products and will be the start of a new era for bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, making them enter into the professional trading scope. In fact, the strong interest we received from finance professionals since our launch, showing us that institutionals wants to enter massively into this market, has been our biggest success to date. CME CF Bitcoin indices are the realisation of this growing interest.
What do you believe the next major innovation in financial technology will be and why?
Probably the blockchain (the underlying technology behind cryptocurrencies) is a major innovation that will change the financial technology. With the blockchain, It becomes possible to settle very quickly, without any central counterparty, directly on the internet. All reconcilations processes become unecessary, and this applies for all asset types. Whole new types of automated asset exchanges also become possible, because now we can attach code to settlement instructions on this blockchain (smart contracts).
Jean-Christophe Laruelle is co-founder and COO of London-based Crypto Facilities, Ltd. He was previously a software architect at BNP Paribas and Société Générale before launching the firm in 2014