World’s largest interdealer broker expands custody with BitGo and Komainu partnership

TP ICAP, the world’s largest interdealer broker, has added BitGo and Komainu to its custody network as it moves to expand its offering in digital assets. 

The company facilitates trades between hedge funds, investment banks and large financial institutions.

Its digital assets platform, which is yet to launch, is set to feature a wholesale electronic over-the-counter (OTC) marketplace for spot cryptoasset trading, including bitcoin and ethereum.

BitGo and Komainu join Fidelity and Zodia, giving the platform an extended range of solutions. The firm plans to initially launch the product with Fidelity. 

Like many other firms, TP ICAP is still waiting to be added to the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) cryptoasset register. Its approval will dictate in part when the service launches. 

Duncan Trenholme, co-head of digital assets at TP ICAP told The Block he is cautiously optimistic the firm will win approval, given that the entity it has applied for a license with is already held to a “very high standard.”

“What we've been asked for are things that are in our DNA as a financial institution,” he added.

Simon Forster, who co-leads digital assets at TP ICAP, said the move reflects an increasing comfort from institutional clients with assets such as ethereum and bitcoin. 

"Expanding our custody network is an important piece of that," he added. 

The move comes following the company's push into crypto exchange traded products (ETPs) for its European clients at the beginning of the year. These ETPs are a way for firms to gain exposure to crypto assets without directly touching them. 

TP ICAP has had a crypto working group since 2017 and first provided liquidity to its clients on CME crypto products in 2019, Duncan Trenholme, co-head of digital assets at TP ICAP told The Block in January.