FastMatch to add cryptocurrencies to FX Tape

The venue plans to support trading of the asset class later this year

Dmitri Galinov: “Given the last year of popularity of this asset class, we’re speeding things up”

FastMatch will add cryptocurrencies to its foreign exchange tape in the first quarter, and plans to support the trading of the asset class later in the year, as interest grows from institutional trading firms such as hedge funds.

Company executives decided to accelerate the plan to add cryptocurrencies to the tape following the recent spike in the value of several virtual currencies as the asset class becomes more popular.

“We’ve always had the plan to add crypto. Given the last year of popularity of this asset class, we’re speeding things up. We’re putting crypto ahead of forwards and non-deliverable forwards on the tape. We will not charge extra. We will just include it in our service,” says Dmitri Galinov, chief executive of FastMatch. “We’re going to add all of them in crosses.”

To fast-track the move, FastMatch has pushed back plans to include forwards and NDFs in its product offering. On January 25, FX Week reported that rather than submitting to the regulatory requirements in the US to trade these contracts on a swap execution facility, FastMatch plans to open an office in Singapore to trade them as off-Sef products.

The Euronext-owned foreign exchange trading venue recently opened up its FX Tape data to the general public, so individuals with a credit card can get access for a monthly fee of €40 ($49). The long-awaited central-tape data feed intends to improve post-trade transparency in currency markets, and serve as a central reference point for transacted spot prices, so market participants can benchmark their FX rates.

Supporting crypto trading

FastMatch’s move to include cryptocurrencies comes less than a week after another FX market provider, Integral, announced it has expanded its market data to 14 major cryptocurrencies in an effort to provide a more accurate reference point for the asset class.

“Inclusion of the cryptocurrencies in the tape will provide the market with transparent and reliable information about the current prices,” Galinov says.

Later this year, FastMatch plans to use its technology to support existing digital currency exchanges and brokers, primarily those servicing the institutional space.

I think the up and down of the market will stop over time, as soon as it gets institutionalised. There’s definitely a movement towards institutionalisation
Dmitri Galinov, FastMatch

“FastMatch will support trading the asset class as a technology provider later this year,” he tells FX Week. “We are planning to offer FastMatch technology to existing cryptocurrency exchanges and brokers.”

Bitcoin’s price has increased from less than a penny 10 years ago to stop short of $20,000 in mid-December 2017. Since then, the value of the highly volatile digital currency has crashed. Regulators in China and South Korea are trying to curb speculation in these types of instruments, adding even more pressure to those participating in the market.

“I think the up and down of the market will stop over time, as soon as it gets institutionalised. There’s definitely a movement towards institutionalisation,” says Galinov.

When Cboe and CME launched bitcoin futures in December 2017, they offered market participants exposure to cryptocurrencies, as well as somewhat validating them as an asset class. The contracts of both firms are settled in dollars. However, Cboe’s contract represents one bitcoin while CME’s represents five.

Additionally, Cboe settles its contracts against a tradable auction price from Gemini, while CME has its own bitcoin reference rate that tracks several cryptocurrency exchanges.

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