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BMA issues first digital asset exchange licence

An award-winning cryptocurrency trading company has been granted a Class T operating licence by the Bermuda Monetary Authority.

The licence issued under the Digital Asset Business Act allows 24 Exchange Bermuda Ltd to operate as a digital asset exchange, and to operate as a digital asset derivative exchange provider.

Under DABA, a class T license is one “under which a person shall be licensed to provide any digital asset business activity under the definition of digital asset business, for a defined period determined by the Authority and for the purpose of carrying out pilot or beta testing in relation to such activity”.

The license, issued by the BMA on July 15, is for a six-month term. It expires on January 14, 2022.

24 Exchange said the license allows it to “offer cryptocurrency trading on its robust institutional-grade platform”.

The company said it expects to launch physical cryptocurrency trading to its institutional clients later this summer, followed soon thereafter by the introduction of a crypto trading capability with non-deliverable forwards (NDFs) in BTC (Bitcoin) and ETH (Ethereum).

24 Exchange said it pioneered the trading of NDFs for cryptocurrencies on its platform and established standardised cryptocurrency NDF contracts.

Dmitri Galinov, chief executive officer and founder of 24 Exchange, said: "This BMA license enables us to reliably bring low-cost institutional grade technology to clients who wish to trade cryptocurrency products.

“We intend to expand our platform's trading capability in the future to encompass all the other assets on our exchange – all at best available rates.

“24 Exchange's unique NDF offering will significantly facilitate the institutional adoption of crypto products across the globe. “

He added: “Working with Premier (David) Burt, the Bermuda Government's Office of FinTech and the Bermuda Business Development Agency has been an absolute pleasure given their interest in, and strong encouragement of, digital asset business activity in Bermuda."

Mr Burt said: "I wish to congratulate 24 Exchange on the successful receipt of a Class T Digital Asset Business license. This is the first license of its kind to be issued in Bermuda and we look forward to having these innovative digital pioneers blazing new trails in our jurisdiction."

The company said the 24 Exchange platform is one of the fastest and most robust in the financial technology industry.

It said the company's matching engine delivers industry-leading performance at 75 microseconds round trip time for cryptocurrency trading.

24 Exchange said this performance puts it into the 90th percentile while under load; data dissemination and execution consistency are key factors in attracting a growing number of discerning financial institutions to the 24 Exchange platform, it said.

To date, 24 Exchange said its platform has onboarded more than 45 large institutional clients, including the majority of the top 20 Euromoney banks.

It said the company's matching technology is located in New York (NY4 data centre) and London (LD4 data centre) – and can easily be deployed anywhere else in the world.

Through the BMA license 24 Exchange said it will expand its range of trading services beyond its current offerings: NDF trading, FX Swaps, and FX Spot, along with market access and monitoring services.

24 Exchange said it set a record for NDF average daily volume (single-counted) in March of $456 million, as well as a single-day record volume that same month in foreign exchange NDFs when in excess of $800 million traded.

Last month, 24 Exchange won the Pitch Day competition during Whale Day at Bitcoin 2021, the world's largest bitcoin conference, besting 11 other finalists.

During the competition, Mr Galinov pitched the company's plan for offering institutional cryptocurrency trading with crypto NDFs to a panel of judges that included Shark Tank television personality Kevin O’Leary.

24 Exchange said it is a multi-asset class trading platform that allows market participants to exchange their exposures at the lowest possible cost.

The company said its mission is to enable members to initiate the most cost-effective trades across a growing range of asset classes, 24 hours a day.

24 Exchange said it lowers the cost of exchanging assets in the global markets while delivering creative and unique workflows catered to each asset class.

The 24 Exchange Bermuda team won the pitch competition at the Bitcoin 2021 conference in Miami. Shark Tank TV personality Kevin O'Leary, one of the judges is third from right (File photograph supplied)

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Published July 21, 2021 at 7:37 am (Updated July 21, 2021 at 7:37 am)

BMA issues first digital asset exchange licence

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