Crypto Futures Platform ErisX Hires Execs From Barclays and YouTube


ErisX, a digital assets trading platform, has recruited three top-level officers from major companies in the financial and tech industries.

Announced today, Robert Thrash joined the company as chief operating officer from Barclays, where he spent more than 11 years in various leadership positions. Most recently, he was the global bank’s managing director of agency derivatives services, a business that encompasses over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives clearing, futures execution and clearing and foreign exchange prime brokerage.

Explaining his interest in the cryptocurrency markets, Thrash told CoinDesk:

“Crypto sits at the intersection of technology, finance and regulation. Regulation will continue to evolve and impact this space bringing transparency to the market, which in turn should lead to increasingly active participation by traditional financial intermediaries. As these intermediaries provide market access to new market participants, a whole host of trading technology, crypto-based products and financing solutions will need to be created.”

Meanwhile, ErisX hired Arnold Connell to be its head of infrastructure. Connell hails from YouTube, where he was a senior technical program manager with a focus on the YouTubeTV streaming service. Before that, he spent a decade at YouTube’s parent Google in various roles.

Finally, John Denza left his job as a head of U.S. sales at Pico Quantitative Trading to become ErisX’s business development executive. Prior to Pico, he worked at BATS Global Markets (eventually acquired by Cboe Global Markets) as director of U.S. sales for equities and derivatives.

Gearing up

The hirings come as ErisX is getting ready to launch spot trading for bitcoin, bitcoin cash, ether and litecoin in the second quarter, and futures trading for those assets in the second half of the year. The company is working on obtaining a derivatives clearing organization (DCO) license from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

“We are leveraging our industry relationships to secure talent and build the most robust, secure and regulated platform for digital assets,” Thomas Chippas, ErisX CEO, told CoinDesk through a spokesperson. “This is the beginning of a new asset class. The leaders in this space are still being developed as are the biggest players still being built.”

In December, ErisX hired Matthew Trudeau, former president of the blockchain startup Tradewind and head of product for IEX (and one of the heroes of Michael Lewis’ bestseller about high-frequency trading, “Flash Boys”) as chief strategy officer.

The same month, the firm raised $27,5 million in a funding round involving Bitmain, ConsenSys, Fidelity Investments, Nasdaq Ventures and Monex Group.

Thomas Chippas image via CoinDesk archives

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