Bitcoin Blockchain

Meet the traders, investors, and technologists pioneering crypto on Wall Street

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This hasn’t been an easy year for cryptocurrency enthusiasts.

Bitcoin, the largest crypto, is down more than 70% from its all-time highs set at the end of 2017, as regulators look to clamp down on exchanges and tech companies shun advertisements related to the nascent digital coin market.

But Wall Street’s enthusiasm for crypto has not been dampened.

Trading, technology, and asset management executives are leaning in on digital assets and working on projects that could bring them front and center in mainstream financial services.

Business Insider reached out to market participants to identify those at the intersection of financial services and digital assets who are building indexes, launching funds, and trading billions.

We came across many talented people, and this list of 36 people is by no means comprehensive. They work at household names like CME Group, Fidelity, and BNY Mellon, and crypto power players like Coinbase, Kraken, and Cumberland. Their roles range in scope, covering research, trading infrastructure, and investing.

But they all have left their mark on the new market.

Toby Allen, Akuna Capital

The news that Cboe Global Markets was going to launch a futures market for bitcoin was a landmark moment for the trading firm Akuna Capital.

That’s when it started directing resources toward crypto trading. Today the company, which has traditionally made markets in currencies and energy futures, trades bitcoin futures. It is also trading spot bitcoin in the $1 million to $5 million range. It trades bitcoin options through LedgerX, a US cryptocurrency options exchange.

Toby Allen leads a team of three folks in Sydney who are trading across all of those markets.

Allen, a partner at the firm, joined Akuna in 2012 from Optiver, where he was a trader from 2008 to 2012. The Australia-native started his career as an analyst at JT Campbell & Co.

Spencer Bogart, Blockchain Capital

Spencer Bogart was one of the first Wall Street analysts to cover bitcoin and the world of blockchain as an equity research analyst at Needham & Co.

He joined Blockchain Capital, one of the oldest VC firms dedicated to investing in projects in the crypto market, in February 2017.

Blockchain Capital manages $250 million across a number of funds, having invested in a number of decentralized crypto exchanges and Bitwise, the crypto asset manager, as well as other companies spanning the crypto market. Recently, the firm has been spending a lot of time exploring opportunities in decentralized crypto exchanges.

Max Boonen, B2C2

When Max Boonen, a former trader at Goldman Sachs, founded B2C2, he aspired to build a Wall Street-like company for bitcoin.

Those aspirations have been reflected in the team it has built and the advisers it has brought on. The company, which sometimes conducts trades larger than $50 million, recently brought on three finance veterans to its advisory board, including Citigroup’s global head of regulatory, market, and innovation strategy.

B2C2 recently expanded into Asia markets via a new desk in Japan, Business Insider previously reported. Further expansion of its business in Asia is a big focus for 2018.

The company is also getting ready to launch contracts for difference, a financial product that allows investors to bet on bitcoin price swings. The company hopes the product, which is in final testing, will bring in brokerage clients.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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