During a fireside chat held at the CoinDesk Consensus Singapore Conference alongside John Detrixhe, Wilson discussed the current trends in cryptocurrency trading and his views on the future of cryptocurrencies. Wilson also observed that bitcoin derivatives trading in Asia almost equals the trading volume in the US.
Referencing data provided by the CME and CBOE during his talk, Wilson suggested that there seems to be a demand in Asia for similar trading tools, telling the conference attendees that:
“If you look at the bitcoin futures data from CME and CBOE, volume in Asia hours are almost the same wth the U.S. … Whereas in like foreign exchange, even for the Japanese yen-dollar trading, volume in Asia is significantly lower.”
Wilson’s DRW was one of the first financial institutions to move into cryptocurrency trading. The firm launched over-the-top crypto trading desk Cumberland in 2014, at a time when financial titans such as Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan were yet to roll out similar trading services. He explained that the idea to launch a crypto trading desk was rooted in confidence in the decentralization of cryptocurrencies.
Wilson further explained that:
“There’s the argument about bitcoin as a store of value. But, more interesting to me, is the usefulness of bitcoin. The ability of transfer values without a trust in the system is hugely disruptive.”
The Wall Street Journal reported last year that Cumberland traded more than $20 Billion in cryptocurrencies, with most of the volume made of bitcoin and ether, in 2016.
Wilson also talked about the obstacles to wider adoption of cryptocurrencies, citing his belief that a custody solution would be a crucial step towards mainstream adoption.
Wilson also commented on a report recently released by the New York Office of the Attorney General. The report revealed the regulators’ findings that indicate several cryptocurrency exchanges may be involved in market manipulation and have violated state laws.
Although Wilson agreed with some of the points raised in the report, he thinks one issue that has caused problems in the crypto industry is the lack of clarity from regulators on what rules need to be followed, concluding that:
“Such uncertainty could drive away innovative projects in the space to other jurisdictions with clearer guidelines such as Switzerland and Singapore.”
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