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TD Ameritrade Invests in Digital Currency Exchange

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TD Ameritrade says it has invested in ErisX, a platform that combines a derivatives exchange and clearing group for digital-asset futures and spot contracts.

The move comes on the heels of the firm’s offering of Bitcoin futures to some clients last year and was announced early Wednesday, ahead of TD Ameritrade President and CEO Tim Hockey’s keynote speech at the Security Traders Association meeting in Washington.

“Our retail clients are seeking to access and trade digital currency products in the same way they do with traditional capital markets — through a legitimate, regulated and transparent exchange,” according to Steve Quirk, executive vice president of trading and education for TD Ameritrade. “That’s precisely why we chose to invest in ErisX — to make digital currency products more accessible to retail clients.”

The firm says no cryptocurrency product likely will be available to investors or advisors in the short term.

“As a strategic investor in the initiative, we look forward to working with the team at ErisX as they develop and launch digital currency products designed to fulfill the needs of retail investors,” said JB Mackenzie, managing director of futures and foreign exchange at TD Ameritrade, in a statement. “ErisX’s plan is to offer traders access to cryptocurrency spot contracts as well as futures contracts on a single exchange.”

Earlier this year at TD Ameritrade Institutional’s LINC conference, wealth manager Ric Edelman said that Vanguard and wirehouse firms that pledged to stay away from cryptocurrencies “will be eating those words.”

TD Ameritrade clients have some $1.2 trillion in assets on its platform. The firm also provides custodial services to more than 6,000 registered investment advisors.