Crypto Q&A: John Tornatore, Cboe


IntelAlley recently interviewed John Tornatore, Global Head of Cryptocurrencies at Cboe Global Markets about his new role and some quick views on the exchange initiatives.

What are your primary responsibilities as Global Head of Cryptocurrencies at Cboe?

John Tornatore, Cboe

My responsibilities are threefold: To be the face of the exchange in the crypto community and the marketplace at large, that includes phone interviews, conferences, and media appearances; to reach out to the FCM community, to help them to help their clients; and to work with customers and prospects—get them the information they need.

From exchange perspective, I have been involved in the crypto space for 10 to 11 months. On a personal basis, I’ve following the marketplace for two or three years.

How/why did you move from working in more “traditional” securities to crypto?

My knowledge of the crypto space made it worthwhile to make the transition. My background in the financial markets has given me a deep knowledge of what customers want. I focused more on the futures space previously, and on international markets and proprietary firms.

What is the state of the landscape for Cboe’s crypto business? What have been main accomplishments in the 9 months so far and what are major current initiatives?

Our goal is to continue to broaden our scope in cryptocurrencies. Our main accomplishment to date is consistent volume. We’ve also worked to introduce changes to our fee schedule for XBT futures, taking our cue from the options playbook, with a maker-taker fee model with a turner overlay. The major goal with this new fee schedule is to help encourage tighter spreads and increased liquidity for market participants.

Which market was right – the one that saw crypto run up massively to a peak 8 months ago, or the one that has cratered since?

As an exchange, we facilitate trades, and it’s not our place to say if the direction is right or wrong.

What will it take to really get institutions interested in crypto?

Part of the challenge is getting the larger FCM community involved, but it’s also having a clearer regulatory picture for the cryptocurrency marketplace, including ETPs.

What is your vision for Cboe’s crypto franchise in, say, three, five or ten years out?

That we will have a more diverse product line of offerings, fulfilling our customers’ requests. By following this vision, we hope market participants will be happy with our continued innovation.

Thank you!

John Tornatore joined Cboe Global Markets, Inc. (Cboe) in 2013 as Director, Business Development. In this role, he pursues U.S. and international strategic marketing initiatives to grow the Cboe and Cboe Futures Exchange (CFE) outreach.

He also is a member of the team responsible for developing futures and options business outside of the U.S. during the exchanges’ extended trading hours. Additionally, John is heading the exchange’s efforts to develop new business for Cboe’s cryptocurrency products globally.

John holds his MBA from Northeastern University with a concentration in Finance & International Business.

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