A crypto exchange incubated by Qredo and seeking to balance the benefits of both centralized and decentralized trading launched today in beta.
Ankex — which recently became a standalone legal entity — was first unveiled by Qredo in November 2022, just weeks after Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX collapsed. The perpetual futures exchange has been in “alpha” mode ever since, but has now switched to beta mode, in which testers of the technology will be added in phases before a full public beta launch later, according to an announcement today.
Ankex describes itself as a “hybrid” player in the crypto exchange landscape, giving users a way to trade directly from self-custodial wallets, with the help of Qredo’s software.
Michael Moro, who stepped down as CEO of Genesis Global Capital in August last year after the group’s loans to failed hedge fund Three Arrows Capital soured, joined Ankex as CEO in April. The lending unit of Genesis filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the U.S. in January.
Moro said in an interview that he wanted his next career move “to be a response” that would help move the crypto industry forward. He then met executives from Qredo at the CfC conference in St. Moritz, Switzerland earlier this year and discussed a potential move to Ankex.
“It was a lightbulb moment for me,” Moro said. “This is something that is trying to solve the FTX problem, or rather the CeFi problem.”
He continued: “If exchanges are non-custodial and everything is on-chain, then you stop asking questions about proof of reserves, because you’re able to check everything for yourself.”
Moro also believes the Ankex team has created what he described as a “bankruptcy-remote structure,” in which the collateral put up by futures traders stays locked in Qredo wallets, meaning, in theory, that it couldn’t end up locked on the exchange if it were to run into difficulty.
The platform is specifically built for high-frequency traders and initially offers the ability to settle trades in USDC, the stablecoin, according to the announcement.
To date, the business has been funded by Qredo, but it is currently seeking external capital in the form of a seed-stage investment, Moro said. While initially users will need to open a Qredo wallet to begin trading on Ankex, ultimately the goal is that it becomes “wallet agnostic,” he added.
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