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Bithumb, South Korea’s largest Bitcoin exchange by trading volume, has launched an over-the-counter (OTC) trading platform that will allow deep-pocketed traders to exchange crypto assets off the books.
Hong Kong-based entity Bithumb Global Limited owns the rights to the Ortus brand, which specializes in services for institutional investors. After completing Know-Your-Customer and Anti-Money Laundering inspections, institutional investors will be able to utilize Ortus services, including monitored funds transfers and access to an OTC trading desk.
Rahul Khanna, director of the company said in the official announcement:
”Institutions trading digital assets need to open accounts at exchanges and OTC desks around the world; however, there is no real solution for an aggregated liquidity provider or a trusted interdealer where Institutions can trade these assets. To fill this market gap, Ortus will operate to allow institutions to buy and sell digital assets through a network of global liquidity providers and benefit from a competitive and best price execution service.”
Once approved and onboarded, clients will enjoy the following services offered by Ortus as already mentioned. This includes monitored fund transfers from insured, custodian wallet and a US-based bank account. Also there will be competitive pricing from the world’s largest OTC desks and liquidity providers.
Last year, TABB Group estimated the OTC market of Bitcoin to be at least two to three times larger than the exchange market.
Referring to the Tabb Group research, Eric Wall, a cryptocurrency researcher, said:
“Just read an estimate from the TABB Group (in a $5,000 report) that OTC crypto markets exceed exchange volumes by 2-3x. That would mean 1 to 1.5 million BTC is traded OTC daily. Strange it’s not visible on the blockchain, which shows a meager 100,000 a day.”
Bithumb generates 44.29m USD for Ethereum/ Korean won and 13.46m USD for Bitcoin/ Korean Won exchange.Also, it has gift cards and other remittances. The minimum value of a gift card should be 10, 000 Korean Won which is approximate $8.78 USD.
Ortus May or May Not Have a Direct Relationship With Bithumb
Further, a person can also sell its gift card on Bithumb in exchange for Bitcoins. The extra services include coupons, sending price notifications and 24*7 customer support service for all its users.
Interesting fact is that when speaking to Korean local publication operated by mainstream media outlet Hankyoreh, a representative of BTCKorea.com, the parent company of Bithumb, said that Ortus is a company that is paying Bithumb to use its brand name in the global market.
“Ortus does not have a direct relationship with Bithumb and the company does not intend to cooperate on the operation. Ortus is only using the Bithumb brand as a partner company and as such, the company has nothing to add on the actual operation of the OTC trading platform.”
However, the official statement released by Bithumb Global Limited explicitly stated that Bithumb Global Limited is working under the Ortus brand.
The statement read:
“Bithumb Global Limited, a Hong Kong-based entity, announced the official launch of its block deal, matchmaking service catering to institutional clients under the Ortus brand.”
We already wrote of how last month Bithumb said they were aiming to enter the US stocks market with a reverse merger strategy. If successful, BTHMB will become the first publicly traded cryptocurrency exchange in the United States.
And just for reminder, in November last year, Bithumb partnered a US-based fintech company seriesOne in a bid to launch a complaint security token exchange for American customers.
Doing a Complete Surgical Makeover
However, last news are showing that Byung Gun Kim, a South Korean surgeon and chief executive of Singapore-incorporated Blockchain Exchange Alliance (BXA), and five other investors from Hong Kong, Japan, the Middle East, the United Kingdom and the United States will acquire a 51 per cent stake in the exchange, which has been hit by security breaches in the past. The consortium still has to pay a final amount of US$250 million to selling shareholder BTC Korea and the deal is expected to be completed in February.
BXA plans to build a network of cryptocurrency exchanges spanning 12 countries, and Bithumb’s 4.5 million global users will form the potential client base on which it will develop this network, according to a statement on its website.
Bithumb isn’t alone here. Just last month U.S. cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex has announced the launch of its over-the-counter trading desk that will facilitate trading between two parties. Last November, one of the biggest of them all, Coinbase has also launched an OTC trading desk that targets institutional investors, but enables all the exchange’s customers to benefit from lower volatility. The trading desk was designed to fight off a competition between Coinbase, Poloniex and Gemini.