Cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb (formerly of South Korea, now of Hong Kong) is offering a new over-the-counter trading desk service for institutional investors. Seen as a way of drawing in asset managers and investment funds, Bithumb’s ORTUS (this is the service’s name) will fill an important gap in the crypto financial services industry.
Up till now, anyone who wished to buy cryptocurrencies (or any other kind of digital asset) had to do so on retail investor brokerage sites like Bithumb and Binance exchange. While this might work out just fine for the individual retail investor, with orders matched to buy/sell orders of other retail investors, large institutions can’t really use these sites.
Institutional customers control the money of countless individual clients. In the dispersal of these funds, institutions need to ensure that they’re dealing with fully licensed and regulated brokerage sources. They also need order options that exceed the simple market, limit, etc. types available through retail brokers like Binance. This is the sort of next-level brokerage experience that Bithumb’s ORTUS will provide.
Bithumb may be courting institutional investors, which could help crypto prices across the board.
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ORTUS will not be a simple liquidity provider, bringing large quantities of digital assets to a common marketplace. It’ll also be a way for one user/institution to connect in a sale with another specific user/institution. Large sales are performed this way in mature markets. Think of it this way, Warren Buffett doesn’t buy stocks by going only Vanguard.com and snapping up whatever they have available, at the current market price. His sales are highly personalized, through the care of institutions of various kinds, to meet the complex needs (such as custodianship) of a world class investor dealing in massive asset values.
More simply put, ORTUS will allow huge corporate buyers to get into the crypto markets for the first time, and this could be very good news for today’s longsuffering cryptocurrency investors. Up till now, digital asset investors have been people like you – persons who buy a little bit of Bitcoin, hoping it will go up in value. Institutions, representing the interests of thousands of individuals, will buy up much more than a single retail investor like yourself could ever afford. They’ll do this, that is, if institutions determine that digital assets are a good investment for the clients they represent.
No one knows just which cryptocurrencies and digital tokens will prove most valuable to this new class of investor. But just as Coinbase is adding custodial services in the West, ORTUS will be a major new marketplace in the East, one which could change the face of cryptocurrency for all of us.
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