AlphaPoint, the blockchain company, has hired a heavyweight from the financial services world to head up the firm's trading business.
The New York-based firm, which counts Mike Novogratz's Galaxy Digital as an investor, announced Friday it hired Kapil Rathi, formerly head of equity options at Cboe Global Markets. Cboe is the exchange behind the first bitcoin futures market in the U.S. The Block spoke with Kapil Rathi on his first day at the new job to ask him about his role and his impression of AlphaPoint's place in the digital-asset ecosystem. Rathi is charged with covering the company's exchange relationships as global head of trading markets, a new role at AlphaPoint, which white-labels exchange technology that other firms use to power their own markets. AlphaPoint is not an exchange itself.
"The digital asset industry has grown up pretty fast. There's a great amount of demand out there but the infrastructure is messy," Rathi said in a phone interview prior to the announcement Friday. Rathi sees AlphaPoint playing an integral role in helping the crypto industry mature. From the interview:
"In options and equity market structure, there is no one player that can be everything for the entire market. We aren't trying to do that. We are providing technology to players across the space — exchanges, wallet providers — and serving as a backbone. The growth of this asset class will require maturation across those verticals. AlphaPoint wants to be part of the solution. We're not coming in as an exchange or a custodian."
[related id=1]A veteran of financial services, Rathi formerly worked at the New York Stock Exchange and ISE, an options exchange acquired by Nasdaq in 2016. When Rathi was at Bats, the exchange bought by Cboe in 2017, he played a role in launching its options exchange EDGX Options, according to MarketsWiki. He also led initiatives in market data and order routing at ISE. When asked about the products he will be responsible for building out, Rathi outlined AlphaPoint's Exchange Remarketer platform. It connects exchanges together so that markets can pool liquidity from one another. That's something attractive to new markets, according to Rathi.
"For any new player, an exchange needs liquidity," Rathi said. "Without liquidity you don't get market makers. On day one, you can launch an exchange with a lit market using our platform. And exchanges on the platform can pool liquidity from other markets."
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