Despite the bear market, the cryptocurrency industry continues to lure in more big names from the financial service sector. The most recent additions include stock brokerage giant TD Ameritrade with its investment in ErisX, which gives clients the ability to trade in Bitcoin futures, and Ric Edelman with his entry into the cryptocurrency index fund pioneer Bitwise.

TD Ameritrade Invests in ErisX

US brokerage firm TD Ameritrade announced on Oct. 3 that it would invest in the cryptocurrency exchange ErisX, according to CNBC. It is a strategic investment on TD Ameritrade’s part as the move will give its clients access to crypto products via a fully regulated platform.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission regulates ErisX, which is a prerequisite for investing, according to TD Ameritrade Managing Director of Futures JB Mackenzie. However, it appears that “certain aspects of the ErisX offering” are yet to be approved by the agency, which could mean that there might be some restrictions for TD clients initially until their approvals are secured.

TD Ameritrade Clients Want Access to Digital Currencies

Mackenzie said that the company’s investment in ErisX is their response to their customers’ needs. In a phone interview, Mackenzie told CNBC:

“We continue to see our retail clients seeking access to trade digital currency products … It’s a young product in fast-moving ecosystem, and while bitcoin may not have the same demand as it did in December, there is still demand nonetheless. We listened to our customers — what we continued to hear was that they wanted access to trade digital currency products.”

One exciting feature in the TD Ameritrade and ErisX deal is that it will allow TD customers access to both Bitcoin spot trading and futures trading. In Bitcoin futures trading, ErisX allows customers to bet on the future price movement of the token without having to buy the token itself.

Coinbase, on the other hand, only supports spot trading.

Ric Edelman Invests in Bitwise

Meanwhile, another big name in the world of finance has recently entered the cryptocurrency space. In a press release via PR Newswire, Bitwise Asset Management announced that best-selling author and well-known financial advisor Ric Edelman has invested in the company, where he will also serve as an advisor.

Aside from his success as an author, Edelman also has a proven track record as an investor. With $22 billion in assets under its management, Edelman Financial Services, a firm that he founded, has been named the No. 1 Registered Investment Advisor firm for 2018.

San Francisco based Bitwise Asset Management is known for pioneering the first cryptocurrency index fund. In a survey, the company found out that education and regulatory concerns are the major issues that are hindering financial advisors from making crypto asset allocations for their clients.

Commenting on Edelman’s entry into the company, Bitwise CEO Hunter Horsley, said:

“Ric has dedicated his career to helping investors build better portfolios and prepare for their future. We’re thrilled to have him supporting Bitwise’s efforts to make high-quality crypto exposure a part of every investor’s portfolio.”

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