Qredo shutters derivatives exchange Ankex, Michael Moro departs

Quick Take

  • Former Genesis head Michael Moro was hired six months ago to spearhead Ankex.
  • The exchange has now been shut down amid trouble at Qredo, its parent company.

A cash crunch at crypto infrastructure startup Qredo has forced it to shutter a hybrid exchange project launched in beta just a few months ago.  

Ankex, which Qredo incubated and unveiled in November last year, had been billed as a hybrid derivatives exchange combining centralized and decentralized features. Michael Moro, former chief executive of Genesis Global Capital, was hired to run Ankex in April — joining some eight months after stepping down as CEO of Genesis and a few months after the business filed for bankruptcy.  

However, the Ankex platform was recently shut down due to financial difficulties at Qredo, and Moro has left the business, according to people familiar with the matter. Parts of Ankex’s website still work, while others — including links to its signup, login and support pages — no longer function.

A spokesperson for Qredo declined to comment.

Qredo, which was valued at $460 million when it raised $80 million in a Series A round in February 2022, appears to have come under significant financial pressure recently. In September, the same month that Ankex announced the launch of its beta platform, Qredo cut around 50 jobs to trim its annual expenses by 35%. It then laid off 50% of what staff remained at the company in November.

At that time, it reportedly had just six months of runway — and was seeking fresh funding and exploring potential acquisitions.


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Refocusing resources

In November, a spokesperson told The Block that the bear market had forced Qredo to refocus on its core business. 

“Qredo saw a monthly average of $2.5 billion of transactional activity in H2 2022 and through Q1 2023 — this activity has fallen, along with overall market activity, throughout the course of this year,” they said. “With this prolonged crypto winter, Qredo has chosen to right-size its business and focus on the core areas of growth in web3 wallets and custody solutions.”

Ankex’s shuttering comes despite the offering fitting rather neatly with the in-vogue trends in crypto at present. It allowed users to self-custody their funds while attempting to replicate the user experience — in terms of liquidity, latency and support — that centralized venues offer.

On joining Ankex, after the demise of Geneis, Moro said he was “acutely aware of the importance of empowering traders to operate on trustless platforms while retaining full control of their assets at all times.”

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About Author

Ryan Weeks is deals editor at the The Block, focused on fundraising, M&A and institutional trends in the crypto space, among other things. He is particularly interested in investigative work — so please send tips! Ryan previously worked at Financial News, Dow Jones as a fintech correspondent in London. Prior to that, he wrote for several different publications, including Sifted, AltFi and Wired. Beyond journalism, Ryan is a keen reader and writer. He enjoys all things active, especially running, rugby, climbing and tennis.


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