• With a Dark Pool deal, Anchorage hopes to shake up big crypto trades

  • When large traders want to buy a large amount of stock, they frequently turn to businesses known as Alternate Trading Systems (ATSs), also known as “dark pools” on Wall Street.

    Dark pools, which are less regulated than public stock exchanges, allow investors to conduct large trades without first signaling to the market that they are doing so. The crypto world is about to get its own dark pool.

    Anchorage, a custody service, announced a strategic partnership with Oasis Pro Markets, which bills itself as the first US-regulated ATS for cryptocurrency, on Wednesday.

    Anchorage will provide on-chain custody and settlement for Oasis, a crypto liquidity platform that connects buyers and sellers looking to conduct large trades discreetly.

    According to Diogo Monica, co-founder of Anchorage, the arrangement will disrupt the current system for large trades, which are frequently arranged ad hoc on platforms like Telegram or through so-called Over the Counter (OTC) desks—middlemen who match up buyers and sellers.

    While both Oasis and Anchorage are middlemen, the platform they are launching is fully automated. This is significant, Monica told us, because it resembles the kind of dark pools that institutional investors have long used to trade stocks—and it will almost certainly lead to more large trades and increased overall liquidity in the crypto markets.

    Monica described the platform as a “crypto native trading system” that will allow for large trades of stablecoins and other digital assets such as Bitcoin.

    Anchorage’s collaboration with Oasis to launch a crypto dark pool is one of several significant collaborations for the San Francisco-based startup. The company launched in 2017 as a new type of crypto custodian with an app-based interface, and has since attracted clients such as Visa and major banks, as well as services such as lending and staking.

    Anchorage has also signed contracts with the US Marshall services and is on the verge of signing one with the FDIC, the government agency that bails out failing banks, in the last year. The transactions show how various government agencies are increasingly having to deal with cryptocurrency as part of their operations.

    Anchorage became the first cryptocurrency company to receive a federal bank charter earlier this year.

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