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Ken Griffin’s Citadel Securities is reportedly creating a crypto trading marketplace in a joint effort to increase liquidity

Citadel’s Ken Griffin.

REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

  • Citadel Securities is building a crypto trading marketplace, CoinDesk reported Tuesday. 
  • The market maker is working with Virtu Financial and venture capital firms, a source told the crypto publication. 
  • Griffin had been a crypto skeptic before changing his mind. 

Citadel Securities – the market maker owned by billionaire Ken Griffin – is building a cryptocurrency trading marketplace in a joint effort with a high-frequency trading firm, CoinDesk reported Tuesday. 

Citadel Securities, a sister company to hedge fund giant Citadel, is working with Virtu Financial, as well as with venture capital firms Sequoia Capital and Paradigm, according to an unnamed source familiar with the plans. 

The work on a “cryptocurrency trading ecosystem” is aimed at creating more efficient access to deep pools of liquidity for digital assets, the source told the online publication. The firms in Citadel Securities’ initial consortium will be joined by additional wealth managers, market makers, and other industry leaders who are expected to join the marketplace before it launches. 

Citadel Securities had been “quietly hiring executives” to build out a crypto trading stack, a second source told CoinDesk. 

Griffin told Bloomberg earlier this year he had changed his anti-cryptocurrency stance and that it was possible his firm would get into market-making for digital assets.

“Crypto has been one of the great, great stories in finance over the course of roughly the last 15 years and, I’ll be clear, I’ve been in the naysayer camp over that 15-year period,” he told Bloomberg in March. 

The broader cryptocurrency market has been undergoing persistent price pressure since November, hurt in part as investors track broader equity markets concerned about higher borrowing rates, hot inflation and a potential recession. The cryptocurrency market’s value has declined to $1.3 trillion as of Tuesday from a high above $3 trillion in November, according to CoinGecko.

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