LedgerX

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LedgerX
Ledgerxwhite-730x438.png
Founded 2014
Headquarters New York, New York
Key People Paul Chou, CEO and Co-Founder; Juthica Chou, COO, CRO and Co-Founder; Zach Dexter, CTO and Co-Founder
Products Trading and clearing of bitcoin swaps and options
Twitter @ledgerx
Website LedgerX Homepage
Blog LedgerX Blog

LedgerX, LLC is the first federally regulated swap execution facility (SEF) and clearing house to list and clear fully-collateralized, physically-settled digital currency swaps and options. It was founded by Juthica Chou and Paul Chou.[1]

Background

LedgerX LLC was registered by the CFTC as a swap execution facility (SEF) on July 6, 2017 and as a derivatives clearing organization (DCO) on July 24, 2017.[2][3] The DCO registration limits LedgerX to clearing fully-collateralized digital currency swaps.[4] LedgerX was also designated a contract market (DCM) on June 24, 2019.[5]

LedgerX was established as a Delaware limited liability company in April 2014 and applied to the CFTC for its registration that August. According to press stories in August 2014, LedgerX was funded with $4.5 million by Lightspeed Venture Partners, Google Ventures, SV Angel and Fenway Summer, among others. In May 2017, LedgerX announced that its parent, Ledger Holdings, had raised an additional $11.4 in a Series B round led by Miami International Holdings and Huiyin Blockchain Venture Investments.[6][7] In an earlier announcement on December 16, 2016, Miami International Holdings and LedgerX had said they had agreed that Miami International Holdings received exclusive worldwide rights for ten years to license equity or fixed income products related to LedgerX products for listing on MIAX and MIAX PEARL, the two Miami International Holdings existing at the time. The parties also agreed to pursue technology opportunities at that time.[8]

Products and Services

LedgerPrime

Ledger Holding Inc., the parent of LedgerX, established LedgerPrime to make markets in LedgerX contracts as well as in the OTC markets. It began trading at about the time of the launch of trading on the SEF. In early March 2019, LedgerPrime received new investments of $12 million dollars along with commitments for $8 million more, according to CoinDesk at the time.[9] LedgerPrime is a quantitative digital asset investment firm.[10]

Bitcoin Swaps

The LedgerX website reported that the first trades of bitcoin swaps occurred on October 16, 2017, when 31 day-ahead swaps changed hands.[11][12]

On January 14, 2019, LedgerX announced the launch of its volatility index, LedgerX Volatility Index (LXVX), based on price data from the LedgerX options market.[13]

The New York Times reported in an April 2, 2019, story titled "Amid Bitcoin Uncertainty, ‘the Smart Money Knows That Crypto Is Not Ready'" that LedgerX was applying to regulators for permission to provide services to retail customers.[14] On April 15, 2019, LedgerX announced that it had applied the previous November to the CFTC for registration as a designated contract market in order to trade bitcoin futures.[15] In a blog post on the same day, the company said that its futures market platform, dubbed "Omni," would be available directly to retail customers, without mention of intermediation.[16].

Bitcoin Futures

LedgerX's June 2019 registration as a futures market permits LedgerX to trade unspecified futures contracts. The designation order prohibits LedgerX's brokers from clearing customer trades.[17] LedgerX COO and Co-Founder Juthica Chou said that the company is looking forward to being the first futures market to list physically delivered bitcoin futures. LedgerX indicated that it will wait until Omni, its futures market platform, was rolled out before it begins trading.[18] Omni will be provided to futures customers, not just exchange members.

On the morning of July 31, 2019, CoinDesk, an online news service, broke the story that LedgerX had launched trading in physically delivered bitcoin futures. The scoop was based on an exclusive interview between CoinDesk and CEO Paul Chou, according to the article. [19] However, John Lothian News was unable to confirm the details of the story, although CoinTelegraph and others published the same news, and in fact LedgerX had not yet launched physically delivered bitcoin futures.[20] By the afternoon of the next day, CoinDesk had reported that its conversation with Paul and Juthica Chou about the futures launch had taken place sometime earlier than July 31 and that Ms. Chou had told CoinDesk after the July 31st article was published that the CFTC was still not permitting LedgerX to launch the bitcoin futures. She also told CoinDesk, "We submitted the amendment on Nov. 8, 2018, it’s been more than 180 days, we don’t know why that’s the case [that it has not been approved]." On August 1, Paul Chou threatened legal action against the CFTC in a Twitter thread.[21]

Ethereum

In September 2018, LedgerX told The Block, a cryptocurrency news service, that LedgerX would begin offering Ether swaps, pending approval from the CFTC.[22]

Halving contract

On February 5, 2019, LedgerX announced that it would offer a binary options contract allowing its institutional clients to bet on the date of "halving" (also referred to as "halvening"), the date on which block number 630,000 will be added to bitcoin's blockchain, causing the reward for mining bitcoin to get cut in half. LedgerX said it will offer five contracts allowing its customers to bet on specific periods of time when this will occur. CEO and Co-Founder Paul Chou told CoinDesk in an email that this service is, in part, an effort to crowdsource information about when the halving will occur; market participants with key information are incentivized to share that information by betting on specific time periods.[23][24]

Swaps platform trading volume

Year Total Annual Volume Percent Change
2018 31,324 594%
2017 4,513

Key People

References