Major cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex will launch an over-the-counter (OTC) trading desk today, January 14, 2018, by 18:00 UTC. The service will allow investors to trade nearly 200 digital assets currently offered on the Bittrex trading platform.
OTC trading is popular with institutional investors who trade in large volumes of cryptocurrencies. This form of crypto trading happens between two parties, and it takes place away from the exchanges. OTC trades are often handled via brokers, who offer high-volume traders a trading desk to execute large trades with a faster settlement and lower fees.
Bittrex will offer users “guaranteed pricing” for large block trades starting at $250,000 or more.
In a statement released to the media, Bittrex CEO Bill Shihara said the OTC service would “further advance the adoption of blockchain technology worldwide,” while providing high volume traders with much needed “price certainty and a fast and easy way to trade large blocks of digital assets.”
Having opened an international trading platform for non-U.S. traders in October 2018, Bittrex is poised to serve large-scale traders with its OTC trading desk. The exchange follows in the footsteps of other U.S.-based digital asset platforms, who have an OTC trading desk dedicated to large volume traders. This list includes Coinbase, Bitfinex and Poloniex.
Coinbase launched its over-the-counter crypto trading desk in November 2018, but the service is only accessible to Coinbase Prime customers. Coinbase head of sales Christine Sandler noted that the service would allow the exchange’s clients to “leverage both our exchange and our OTC business.” She also speculated about the future integration of the OTC service with Coinbase Custody.
Earlier this month, cryptocurrency finance firm Circle said it executed 10,000 OTC trades in 2018, accumulating $24 billion in notional volume, per a Medium post.
“At the other end of the spectrum, our OTC trading business, Circle Trade, has continued to expand despite a tumultuous year for the industry: we onboarded a record number of new institutional clients.”