Since Bitcoin (BTC) was thrust into the mainstream, rumor has it that Wall Street institutions & high net-worth hotshots have been loading their ‘bags’ with crypto assets. Yet, as this hearsay has continued to mount, even amid this downturn, prices have failed to budge.

This, of course, has led to the pertinent, ever-pressing question about how institutionally-sourced greenbacks are entering this market. While analysts have mulled, the answer might have been floating right under our noses — over-the-counter (OTC) desks.


Bithumb, South Korea’s largest crypto upstart that is considering a ‘reverse merger’ listing on the U.S. stock markets, recently unveiled its newest offering. Enter Ortus, a “block deal, matchmaking” service solely backed by the Hong Kong-headquartered Bithumb Global Limited.

Per a press release outlining the news, which comes just months after Bithumb’s flagship exchange fell victim to a multi-million dollar cryptocurrency hack, Ortus’ efforts will be centered around institutional investors.

So what’s the deal ’bout Ortus? Well, according to the release, clients of this venture will have access to a number of benefits, including custodied fund transfers (both crypto and fiat), liquidity aggregation from the “world’s largest OTC desks,” and global support staffers from FX, asset management, and investing.

Commenting on the value proposition of this offering, which fills the ever-growing need for OTC, Ortus director Rahul Khanna remarked:

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. 

Bitcoin OTC — An Industry Trend

As hinted at earlier, this is the most recent OTC desk that was launched by leading crypto startups.

Not four weeks ago, BitGo, a long-standing Bitcoin powerhouse based in Palo Alto, made a forward-thinking announcement. Via a Medium blog post, the startup, which has serviced Ripple, Pantera Capital, Bitstamp, among others, revealed that it would be joining hands with Digital Currency Group’s Genesis Trading.

It was claimed that BitGo and Genesis’ collaboration will take the form of a pseudo-crypto exchange, which will allow clients to “buy and sell digital assets directly from the security of their BitGo Trust cold storage account.” Genesis, headed by Michael Moro, will provide its expertise in facilitating large-sum, institutionally-sourced transactions, while the other partner will leverage its veteran status in the Bitcoin custody ecosystem to provide security for the offering.

This comes after Coinbase hinted that it had a Wall Street-centric trading desk behind closed doors, with an executive telling Cheddar that such launch of the offering was opportunistic.

Binance also made a similar move. The Malta-headquartered exchange divulged that it would allow traders with “Level 2” KYC approval and above to make OTC transactions, which need to be value at a minimum of 20 BTC.

Title Image Courtesy of Sven Scheuermeier Via Unsplash 


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