Cboe acquires crypto derivatives exchange ErisX, betting big on the soaring digital asset space

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Cboe acquires crypto derivatives exchange ErisX, betting big on the soaring digital asset space
Traders signal offers in the Five-Year Treasury Note Options pit at the Chicago Board of Trade Scott Olson/Getty Images)
  • Cboe Global Markets is betting on the continued success of cryptocurrencies with its acquisition of ErisX.
  • The acquisition will give Cboe exposure to the digital asset and spot derivative markets, including clearing and settlement.
  • The acquisition will allow Cboe to create indices centered around cryptocurrencies.
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Cboe Global Markets is jumping into the cryptocurrency space with its acquisition of ErisX, a regulated futures exchange and clearing house that provides investors access to cryptocurrency derivatives.

The proposed acquisition, which is expected to close in the first half of 2022, would give Cboe exposure to the booming cryptocurrency market and allow the exchange operator to create indices and other derivative products that are tied to various cryptocurrencies.

ErisX was founded in 2018 and operates regulated spot and futures exchanges for digital assets, along with a real-time clearing system that is designed to address settlement risk. The company was built to reduce common industry pain points, give institutions easier access to cryptocurrencies, and grow the digital asset market on a global scale.

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"As a global market infrastructure provider, Cboe is uniquely positioned to offer a digital asset marketplace focused on regulatory compliance and transparency to help institutions embrace the digital asset class and offer digital asset trading to their clients," the company said.

Once the merger closes, Cboe will operate the digital asset business as Cboe Digital. The company will also form a Digital Advisory Committee comprised of various market stakeholders to aid in the ongoing development of the Eris spot and derivatives market.

Members of the committee will include Fidelity Digital Assets, Galaxy Digital, DRW, Interactive Brokers, Robinhood, and Webull, among others. Some members of the committee intend to acquire minority ownership interest in Cboe Digital, the company said.

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"We believe our acquisition of ErisX, coupled with broad industry participation and support, will help us bring the regulatory framework, transparency, infrastructure and data solutions of traditional markets to the digital asset space," Cboe CEO Ed Tilly said.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Cboe said the purchase price was not material from a financial perspective. Cboe plans to fund the acquisition with a combination of cash and debt.

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