South Korean-headquartered cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb has launched a global over-the-counter (OTC) trading desk for digital assets.
Announcing the news on Thursday, the firm said that the new Hong Kong-based venture – Ortus – is a “block deal, matchmaking service” for institutional clients. In an OTC deal, two parties trade directly with each other, unlike on an exchange where orders are matched between buyers and sellers.
“Ortus will operate to allow institutions to buy and sell digital assets through a network of global liquidity providers and benefit from a competitive and best price execution service”, said Rahul Khanna, Bithumb’s director.
According to its website, Ortus has offices in the U.K., Hong Kong, Japan, Australia and Argentina.
To get started, clients will have to go through “strict” onboarding processes, including know-your-customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) documentation, the firm said.
Ortus offers features such as insured custody and transfers from a U.S.-based bank account. The firm did not set out which digital assets it will offer for OTC trades.
Several crypto exchanges have launched OTC trading desks in recent months to capitalize on growing interest from institutions.
Just last month, U.S.-based Bittrex launched an OTC desk supporting nearly 200 cryptocurrencies. In December 2018, Poloniex opened OTC trading service for institutional clients with a minimum order size of $250,000.
And a month prior, crypto exchange unicorn Coinbase also opened an OTC service for its Prime customers – that is, financial institutions looking to trade with business funds.