TP ICAP Group PLC (LON:TCAP) said it is planning to launch a cryptoasset trading platform as part of a collaboration with Fidelity Digital Assets, Zodia Custody and Flow Traders.

The FTSE 250 stockbroker said the new platform will allow trading of digital assets including Bitcoin and Ethereum and will also provide connectivity and post-trade infrastructure for digital asset custodians.

The platform follows the launch of TP ICAP’s digital assets business in 2019, which allowed clients to trade cryptoasset derivatives products, with the company saying the new platform “significantly expands” its footprint in the fast-growing market.

“Client demand to trade spot cryptoassets is significant and growing, with interest coming from our traditional customer base across the different asset classes we operate in. But to date many of our clients have been prevented from accessing cryptoasset markets due to current limitations in market infrastructure, with most execution venues requiring pre-funding and also acting as custodian”, TP ICAP’s co-head of digital assets Simon Forster said in a statement.

“This poses challenges from a conflict of interest perspective and results in fragmented liquidity. Our partnership, and resultant new platform, is a natural evolution in market structure that will make digital assets, such as Bitcoin, more accessible for the wholesale market”, he added.

TP ICAP said the platform has already started to onboard clients and will launch in the second half of the year, by which time it expects to announce additional liquidity providers. The firm added that it is “working closely” with additional strategic custody partners and expects to expand its network of digital asset custodians as it creates a “new industry model for clearing and settlement”.

“This platform will provide our global client base with the trading infrastructure, connectivity, surveillance, and market standards they require as a minimum across traditional markets whilst also recognising the nuances of this new asset class. It leverages mature trading technology developed by our partners GMEX Technologies, to provide spot liquidity in digital assets as well as access to multiple custodians via a bespoke post-trade solution. These are key requirements for our institutional clients who want to be able to trade, invest and safely access this growing area of the market”, said Andrew Polydor, TP ICAP’s global head of markets.

The company’s shares jumped 0.9% to 205.9p in mid-morning trading on Tuesday.

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