Welcome to the ErisX blog! As we develop a unified platform for spot and regulated futures on digital assets, building an exchange and clearing house in support of this brand new asset class, we want to share with you our learning, insights and observations as well as our thoughts as we venture into new territory. Some of the topics we may cover include market structure, technology, trading and regulation.
Eris Exchange has operated a regulated marketplace for seven years and is well positioned to tackle the many opportunities and challenges facing the digital asset industry. With help from our robust list of investors, coming from the traditional financial markets and digital asset space, we are building out our vision of a regulated cryptocurrency market. This is underpinned by the network of relationships we have with intermediaries and includes traders, investors, market makers, miners and exchange operators.
We welcome you to visit our blog and learn more about our products, services, partners, and our opinions on industry happenings. Please review our past blogs as well as this week’s introduction to our leaders, who are making critical decisions that will enhance the digital asset experience for individual and institutional investors alike.
THOMAS CHIPPAS, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
Thomas Chippas is an outspoken advocate for bringing reliability and transparency to the digital asset marketplace. He partners with leading industry participants and regulators to enhance the trading experience and develop the market structure in the digital asset space for both institutions and individual investors.
He was most recently Managing Director and Global Head of Quantitative Prime Brokerage at Citi and held the same position at Barclays. In addition to leading electronic trading roles on the sell side, Mr. Chippas was CEO of Citadel Technology and COO of Axoni, a leading distributed ledger technology firm focused on derivatives processing. Mr. Chippas holds a B.S in Accounting from the University of Illinois, serves on the CFTC Technology Advisory Committee, and has served on multiple boards and advisory groups of fintech firms and exchanges.
“I have been fortunate enough to be part of and in some cases drive several waves of market changing innovation in my career: the transition to electronic and algorithmic trading, the adoption of REG NMS, MiFID, MiFID2, Basel III, and the introduction and evolution of ultra low latency trading technology. ErisX truly represents a fusion of all those experiences and more. With the team we have assembled and the support of diverse, top tier investors we are positioned to lead the digital asset markets forward in their evolution enabling retail and institutional customers the opportunity to participate in this new asset class. No one entity will control the destination of that evolution but I am confident that ErisX has the opportunity to strengthen, lead, and support the digital asset markets along the way.”
KELLY BROWN, CHIEF COMMERCIAL OFFICER
Kelly Brown was Managing Director and Head of Intermediary, Bank and Membership Segments at CME Group where he led integration and held complete oversight of the entire Membership suite across CME, CBOT, NYMEX and COMEX exchanges. Before joining CME Group, Mr. Brown held roles in institutional sales at Bank of America and Cargill Investor Services. Mr. Brown holds a Master of Science in Financial Markets and Trading from the Illinois Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from Loyola University of Chicago.
“ErisX has a superior team of industry veterans who have deep expertise and proven achievements across regulation, technology, operations and markets. It’s an honor to work with these folks who create an inspiring environment and to see our dedication, determination and vision come to fruition. I am confident that we will meet the standard of excellence our customers demand and expect, and look forward to working closely with our team and customers as we collectively succeed in building and growing this new market.”
LAURIAN CRISTEA, GENERAL COUNSEL
Laurian Cristea previously held the role of Chief Regulatory Officer at Eris Exchange, a legacy market for cash settled swap futures products. He was also a regulatory counsel for the LCH group of international clearing houses, and an attorney in the Division of Market Oversight with the CFTC. His work experience also includes positions at NYSE Euronext, U.S. Bankruptcy Court (SDNY), and as a Summer Associate in the CFTC’s Division of Enforcement. He holds a B.A.in Rhetoric from U.C. Berkeley and a J.D. from Brooklyn Law School.
“It’s exciting to see Eris Exchange transform into ErisX — from an interest rate swap futures exchange to a digital assets and crypto currencies exchange and clearing house for spot and futures. What we’re doing at ErisX is the best opportunity a general counsel can ask for: building a best-in-class platform based on market-tested regulatory principles (a first in the industry), and dealing with novel legal issues as well as complex state- and federal- regulatory issues. There’s never a dull moment.”
IAN GRIEVES, MANAGING DIRECTOR, HEAD OF PRODUCT
Ian Grieves was Managing Director of the Americas for Object Trading, a low latency Direct Market Access platform for listed derivatives providing normalized market data, order entry and pre-trade risk management solutions to sell side and buy side institutions. Prior to Object Trading, he helped design and build algorithmic trading solutions for Futures, Options and US Treasuries at Eccoware/BGC Partners. Ian started his career as an Options Market Maker and Index Arbitrager on the LIFFE exchange with positions at; Société General, Gerrard National Intercommodities and ING Barings.
“I could not pass up the opportunity to build customer-centric products and services for this new and emerging technology in an innovative environment. The possibilities in this asset class are endless and I look forward to bringing what I know about electronic trading and markets to the digital asset arena.”
ELIZABETH (LIZ) JAMES, HEAD OF CLEARING
Liz is a seasoned Futures and Options professional with extensive knowledge of clearing arrangements, exchange products, global operations, client service, product management, financial control, relationship management and Institutional sales. Liz has been in the futures industry for 35+ years, and worked in both the UK and the US. Liz also functioned as an expert witness across various high-profile cases involving exchange traded derivative products. She testified for Barclays on all aspects of the futures takeover in 2008. Liz was also named an expert in the litigation involving the bankruptcy proceedings with respect to MF Global.
“After a fulfilling career spanning almost 40 years, I had retired from the futures industry and was enjoying a more relaxed lifestyle. However, when I was asked to provide advice on ErisX clearing initiatives, I could not resist the call to come back, full time, and guide the development of a new clearing operation for digital assets. I loved the vibe of the company and the enthusiasm of the staff. Also, the work is interesting and intriguing for me as I do believe this is a great step forward for the futures world, and digital assets.”
TONY ACUÑA-ROHTER, MANAGING DIRECTOR, HEAD OF TECHNOLOGY
Tony Acuña-Rohter was Director of Software Engineering at CME Group where he lead a team in the Trade Execution department responsible for building CME’s next generation match engine, market data, and order entry data systems. Tony has experience in the technology field filling roles of increasing responsibility in the areas of technology leadership and management, software architecture, software engineering, product design, and low latency, highly available trading systems. With more than 25 patent applications, Tony is also a prolific inventor in the area of fintech. Tony graduated Cum Laude with a degree in Computer Science from Illinois Institute of Technology.
“It is truly rewarding for me to merge traditional regulated financial technology and knowhow with the high standards of the digital assets marketplace in order to enable transparent and efficient price discovery as well as robust and accessible custody solutions. Having engineered and operated ultra-low latency trading technology for the most demanding customers, I am confident that our platform will offer performance that meets the needs of our professional trading customers, and by extension benefit the market as a whole.”
BRYAN STUART, MANAGING DIRECTOR, CORPORATE DEVELOPMENT AND FINANCE
Bryan Stuart was CFO at Abundant Venture Partners, where he was responsible for the business and financial management of start-up and early stage portfolio companies. Prior to Abundant, he held CFO positions at multiple start-up technology firms and was an Audit Senior Manager at Deloitte & Touche. Mr. Stuart is a CPA and holds a B.S. in Accounting from Northern Illinois University.
“It’s exciting to shape the foundation for something new. From building out a diverse team to establishing strategic partnerships to developing a unified platform for spot and regulated futures, we are enhancing the digital asset trading and investing experience.”
ROBERT THRASH, CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER
Robert Thrash spent 12 years at Barclays Investment Bank where he was most recently Managing Director and the Global Head of Futures Execution Services and Clearing Platform Management. Prior to that, Robert has held various leadership roles across the firm’s prime services, execution services and Rates trading businesses. He holds a Master of Sciences in Applied Mathematics from Carnegie Mellon University and a Bachelor of Sciences in Mathematics from St. Olaf College.
“I saw the opportunity to contribute my own experience running execution and clearing service businesses to ErisX’s effort to build the most robust, secure and regulated digital asset platform. This will bring reliability and foster confidence to the industry. Digital assets present a real-world commercial opportunity to solve complex trading technology and asset custody problems, and the work here at ErisX overlaps greatly with both my professional and academic interests.”
MATT TRUDEAU, CHIEF STRATEGY OFFICER
Matt Trudeau is a serial entrepreneur and has participated in the successful launch of 10 electronic trading venues. Matt was most recently Co-Founder and President of Tradewind Markets, an electronic trading platform and blockchain-based post trade system for physical precious metals. Prior to Tradewind Matt was Head of Product and Ventures at IEX, Global Head of Product at Chi-X Global and COO at Chi-X Canada. Previously Matt held strategic development, product, and operations positions at Instinet and CyberTrader, a subsidiary of Charles Schwab. Matt holds a BA in Anthropology from the University of Massachusetts and an MBA from the University of Texas.
“Having contributed to the launch of 10 challenger exchanges globally, including one of the few blockchain-enabled trading platforms for traditional assets in production, I understand how significant an undertaking it is to launch an institutional business, and the importance of a skilled and experienced executive team. ErisX is building fundamental, regulated market infrastructure and the commercial network of market participants to use it. It is difficult to divine how the digital asset market will evolve with specificity so my view is that the valuable assets ErisX has accumulated puts us in an exceptional strategic position to capitalize on and positively influence the market’s evolution.”
Thank you for taking the time to read our blog and we look forward to continuing the dialogue with you. If you have feedback, comments or questions please feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org and check back here regularly for updates.
ErisX is an offering of Eris Exchange, a CFTC-regulated Designated Contract Market, and Eris Clearing, which has a Derivatives Clearing Organization application pending with the CFTC. The CFTC does not have regulatory oversight authority over underlying or spot virtual currency products or transactions or virtual currency exchanges, custodians or markets.