While the value of Bitcoin has continued to tumble, with some pundits even calling for sub-$3,000 trading, crypto industry upstarts have continued to excel.

Case in point, Bakkt scored $182.5 million in funding from Wall Street giants, the New York Stock Exchange’s parent, ICE, and Microsoft’s venture arm. But the Atlanta-headquartered company saw some friendly competition on Thursday, as a sector equal scored Wall Street hires.

Funding may seem like the be-all and end-all of a company’s efforts, but arguably, talent holds the same level of importance. Without people, a firm (that isn’t run by AIs) is nothing.

What’s ErisX?

Before we get into the news, let’s answer the pressing question
— what’s ErisX? For those who aren’t in the loop, ErisX, backed by DRW, TD Ameritrade, Virtu Financial, and CBOE Global markets, is slated to become a fully-regulated, US-based derivative and investment vehicle exchange that will take a focus on crypto assets.

Sources claim that the company is first eyeing cryptocurrency futures contracts, and aims to launch the investment vehicle for Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and Litecoin by Q2 of 2018.

The individuals behind ErisX have also garnered the financial support of fintech heavyweights Susquehanna International, Digital Currency Group, Nex Opportunities, and CMT Digital.

More information can be found on Live Coin Watch’s previous report on the subject matter. Go check it out, it’s a good read.

The Crypto ‘Brain Gain’

So what’s the recent news regarding the company? Well, as it seemingly nears its launch, it has brought on a number of notable employees, from notable corporations in the legacy world no less.

Per a Thursday press release from the company, based in American metropolises Chicago and New York, ErisX will be bringing on Robert Thrash, Arnold Connell, and John Denza, who will take up executive and C-Suite posistions at the group.

Thrash, Chief Operating Officer, joins the Bitcoin-friendly company from Barclays, where he headed the giant’s futures execution and clear platform facets. This new hire is evidently a step that ErisX is taking towards the eventual launch of cryptocurrency futures, pending approval from U.S. regulators.

Connell, head of infrastructure, hails from Youtube and Google. ErisX’s new executive of business developments comes straight from CBOE/Bats Global Markets, where he was the director of U.S. sales [of] equities and derivatives.

In a comment regarding the new ErisX staffers, chief executive Tom Chippas remarked that the three bigwigs’ move onto ‘Satoshi Street’ only accentuates the opportunity that crypto & blockchain pose. Chippas, a Wall Street legend that once was a part of top brasses of Citadel, Citi, Barclays, and Deutsche Bank, went on to welcome the three, commenting:

When combined with our assemblage of talent and investor support, the ErisX mission becomes highly attractive to talented, driven professionals and we are elated to welcome Robert, Arnold and John to the team.

This comes a mere three weeks after the American company divulged that it added two industry insiders to its board. Cris Conde, Silicon Valley VC Accel Partners’ executive-in-residence, was the first mentioned. ErisX’s second new board member was revealed to be none other than Joseph Lubin, the founder of ConsenSys and one of the Canadian minds behind Ethereum.

Wall Street: Close Or Far?

ErisX’s recent moves come after rumors claim that institutional interest has begun to wane. More specifically, Coinbase and Blockchain.com dropped institutional-centric hires just recently.

Yet, some would beg to differ that crypto’s entree onto Wall Street is looking dismal. Mike Novogratz, the founder of Galaxy Digital, recently took to Twitter to (drunkenly?) remark that instittuions may be shuffling their feet, but they’re coming.

This comment was only underscored from a recent quip from a J.P. Morgan analyst on CNBC, who told the outlet’s “Futures Now” segment that the stability in the value of BTC, XRP, and other cryptocurrencies is sparking institutional interest.

 Title Image Courtesy of KEITH WONG on Unsplash

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