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‘Secretive’ Wall Street Trading Firm Jane Street Capital Starts Trading Bitcoin

Major Wall Street trading firm Jane Street Capital, which traded $5.6 trillion across products that include Exchange-traded funds (ETFs), Equities, Futures, Options, Bonds, and Commodities last year, has recently jumped on the cryptocurrency bandwagon. The ‘secretive’ firm notably revealed to Business Insider it is now trading bitcoin.

In a statement, the company confirmed that it trades over 56,000 products worldwide across a wide variety of asset classes, and that bitcoin is now one of those products. The trading firm has over 600 employees, and facilitates $13 billion in equity trading volumes on a daily basis.

It was founded in 2000, but reportedly only recently entered the cryptocurrency trading market. It’s unclear how exactly Jane Street Capital is trading bitcoin, but it is likely betting on fiat currency settled futures, such as those offered by the Chicago Board Options of Exchange (Cboe) or the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME).

Seemingly suggesting they’d trade bitcoin ETFs or cash settled ethereum futures if the options were available, the firm stated:

“Jane Street has always taken a considered approach to trading opportunities and will continue to do so. As more cryptocurrency products emerge, we expect to be involved.”

Other trading firms that joined the cryptocurrency ecosystem last year include DV trading, which specializes in futures and has been fined for “wash trading,” Virtu Financial, a market maker that trades over 19,000 securities, and Jump Trading, which has about 500 employees.

All of these firms started trading bitcoin at about the same time the bitcoin futures market launched, according to reports. The firms were dawn in because they make more money in volatile markets, and the common 20 percent swings in crypto markets attracted them.

Arbitrage opportunities are also ripe in the cryptocurrency ecosystem. These can look particularly mouth-watering for various traders as one cryptocurrency can have drastically different prices in two exchanges. This makes buying low and selling high extremely easy.

Arbitrage is so present in the ecosystem, that the Cryptopia exchange even has a page dedicated to it. Toby Allen, of trading firm Akuna Capital, told Business Insider:

“There is sometimes 10% exchange arbitrage. As a trader it is such an amazingly fun space to be in compared to traditional assets because of the spreads and technology gaps.”