Talos Launches For End-To-End Trading Of Digital Assets10.02.2020
Talos, a technology provider for the institutional trading of digital assets, today announced the public launch of its platform that connects the diverse group of participants involved in today’s crypto-asset market structure — institutional investors, prime brokers, exchanges, OTC desks, lenders and custodians. The Talos platform, which — has been live for the last year, delivers a suite of solutions that supports clients through the full trading lifecycle — from price discovery to execution through clearing and settlement, across spot, futures and FX markets.
“The ability to safely and efficiently trade digital assets has been one of the biggest challenges limiting institutional investor adoption of this asset class,” said Anton Katz, co-founder and CEO of Talos. “The institutional trading workflow is significantly more complex than that of the retail sector and demands a very different set of requirements. The Talos platform addresses these key issues — such as security, efficiency and scale — in both a familiar and customizable environment that tailors the trading experience for each customer.”
Real platform. Real customers.
While this marks Talos’ industry debut, the Talos platform began development in October 2018, and has been in production since August 2019, providing digital asset trading solutions to a core group of capital market participants.
“Staying quiet during these last two years was a deliberate decision,” said Katz. “We know from our experience on the client-side how frustrating it can be to get excited about a new technology solution, only to then learn the product is still years away from launch. Ethan and I decided to go about this differently, and built our platform from the ground up, where we could bring to bear our experience in developing trading systems for the capital markets. Once in production, we spent the next several months validating its effectiveness to address real issues with real customers. And now, a year after our first production trade, we are happy to finally be able to talk about our platform publicly.”
“Talos has refined our trading and risk management capabilities, allowing us to provide seamless best execution for our clients,” said Jordan Ettedgui, Head of Trading at Enigma Securities and one of Talos’ early customers. “The Talos team has shown great flexibility and creativity in problem-solving, helping take our technology stack to the next level.”
“Talos’ platform provides the same levels of stability, performance, and security as the leading equities and fixed income trading systems, yet is extremely intuitive and easy to use,” said Brian Kelly, Founder and CEO of BKCM, another one of Talos’ early customers.
The convergence of institutional trading knowledge and digital assets expertise
Katz and his co-founder Ethan Feldman both come from the institutional trading industry, having built trading systems for some of the world’s largest financial institutions. For Talos, the two brought together an advisory board with similarly deep roots in capital markets: Dave Cushing (former Head of Global Trading at Wellington), Jennifer Hill (former CFO of Merrill Lynch & Co. and the wholesale banking division of Bank of America) and Tim Grant (CEO of Six Digital Exchange).
In building the Talos platform, Katz and Feldman also turned to a strong group of prominent digital asset investors that included Autonomous Partners, Castle Island Ventures, Coinbase Ventures, Initialized Capital, Notation Capital, Founder Collective and V1.VC. These financial backers were part of the firm’s initial capital raise, led by Initialized Capital.
“Every day there are more signals demonstrating that belief in the importance of crypto assets is pervading financial institutions, but the lack of institutional friendly trading platforms has remained a major hurdle to adoption,” said Brett Gibson, General Partner at Initialized Capital. “To get comfortable, financial institutions need familiar trading technology, liquidity pools large enough to support their volume, and a brand they can trust. This is precisely why Initialized invested in Talos.”
“One of the biggest keys to widespread institutional adoption of digital assets is a technology infrastructure that unites all market participants and gives them the confidence to operate at scale,” said Arianna Simpson, Founder of Autonomous Partners. “That is exactly what Talos has built, and we are excited to help them realize their ambitious launch and growth plans.”
“The Talos team is truly best-in-class – one of the best we’ve encountered in the blockchain space since we began investing in 2013,” said Nick Chirls, Partner with Notation Capital. “They’re uniquely positioned to bridge the gap between the crypto and capital markets communities, and the product is quickly becoming essential for any serious institutional trader.”
A complete suite for the digital asset trade lifecycle
The Talos platform is built exclusively to support end-to-end trading of digital assets — from onboarding to price discovery, from execution through settlement — including bilateral access to liquidity providers. The platform provides solutions to meet the needs of investors and financial service providers, including prime brokers, OTC desks, lenders, custodians and exchanges. Clients access the Talos platform via API or GUI, and it is highly configurable to their unique workflow requirements.
While the Talos platform today is comprehensive, the firm plans to roll out additional capabilities in the coming months, focusing primarily on further reducing trading and settlement risks.
“It is a once-in-a-life-time opportunity to be involved in shaping the market structure of an entirely new asset class,” said Feldman. “Our expertise is in trading systems, and we built this platform from the ground up specifically for crypto by working closely with our customers. We’ll continue collaborating with them to stay ahead of competition as digital assets begin to truly transform financial markets.”
“We don’t get to see a brand-new asset class emerge very often, so naturally this is an incredibly exciting time, especially for engineers in the financial sector,” added Katz. “Moreover, these technical and operational innovations we see in the digital assets space will accelerate the progress of other asset classes. Our mission is to bridge these two worlds, using our understanding of institutional requirements, and further drive the evolution of trading.”
Regulators are likely to separate custody from other crypto exchange activities.
Financial institutions can shorten the lifecycle of blockchain projects to just a few weeks.
Kurz said there are walls between the digital asset fund management business and the trading arm.
The CFTC regulated derivatives market and clearer was not included in FTX's bankruptcy filing.
The sovereign wealth fund said the investment was 0.09% of its net portfolio value.