Former Jefferies FX brokers launching institutional crypto exchange

Two former Jefferies Financial Group executives are set to launch a new cryptocurrency exchange designed for institutional investors.

Called Crossover Markets Group Inc., the exchange will debut “late summer to early fall” following the closing of a recent seed funding round.

The Crossover Markets website describes the new exchange as a “digital asset exchange designed to meet the liquidity needs of institutional clients.”

Jefferies is the largest full-service independent investment banking firm headquartered in the US and is the seventh largest investment bank in the world by revenue, according to Dealogic.

The exchange will be led by co-founder and CEO Brandon Mulvihill, who was previously in charge of Jefferies’ core forex brokerage business. The other co-founder of the exchange is CCO Anthony Mazzarese, a long-time business partner of Mulvihill. They will also be joined by technologist Vlad Rysin, former CTO of Euronext FX, a trading services company.

The new exchange will focus on offering improved technology that speeds up cryptocurrency trading and reduces latency to the standards expected in traditional FX or equities by institutional investors. Mazzarese says this is often missing from retail-focused exchanges:

“There seems to be a notion that latency doesn’t matter when it comes to trading cryptocurrencies. We disagre.”

“We surveyed our network of institutional relationships globally and one of the most important and common requirements was reliable 24/7 technology with the same service levels and customization features they are used to in other markets, such as foreign exchange or stocks. This is exactly what Crossover Markets will provide.”

Mulvihill said that while the vast majority of traditional institutional investors have yet to enter the crypto space, this is changing rapidly and emphasized the need for exchanges to advance technology in line with market maturity.

Related: Crypto Gains Confidence As An Investment But Still Lags Other Options – Bitstamp Report

On Tuesday, global cryptocurrency exchange Bitstamp published a survey report that found that a majority of the 28,615 institutional and retail investors surveyed believe that cryptocurrencies will outperform traditional investment vehicles within a decade. Up to 80% of institutional respondents responded affirmatively.

Although the two executives left Jefferies in March to establish this new exchange, Jefferies has been expanding its crypto services business under the leadership of Alexander Yavorsky, the firm’s Financial Institutions Group (FIG) managing director of Investment Banking. Yavorsky said that the company is exploring crypto services in trading, prime brokerage and wealth management.

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