Ritholtz Wealth Management’s Josh Brown says the cryptocurrency market has reached a fork in the road and looks to be tilting toward the right path.
Tuesday on CNBC’s “Fast Money Halftime Report,” Brown said crypto is about to enter a “new phase.” He highlighted a couple of momentum drivers for Bitcoin (CRYPTO: BTC) and Ethereum (CRYPTO: ETH) and noted that the gears already appear to be turning.
EDX Markets, a digital asset marketplace that aims to enable safe and compliant trading of digital assets through trusted intermediaries, launched trading in select assets on Tuesday.
The platform is backed by some big players in the finance world including Charles Schwab, Fidelity and Citadel Securities.
“The important thing that distinguishes it from FTX and Binance and all the stuff that we know the regulators don’t like is that they’re not taking custody,” Brown said.
The platform will match buyers with sellers and facilitate exchanges, but it requires users to provide their own custody solutions, he said. Moreover, EDX Markets is targeting institutional traders, not small-time retail players, he added.
There’s also talk that Fidelity is “readying something seismic,” Brown said, although he noted that he didn’t have any further information to be able to elaborate on the rumors.
The EDX Markets launch comes just days after BlackRock filed an application for what would be the first spot Bitcoin ETF in the U.S. BlackRock is not the first firm to file an application, but BlackRock is different than the other applicants, Brown said.
“They’ve gotten like 500 yeses and one no over the years. They’re pretty much undefeated,” he said.
“It would be very weird for them to file something just to get, you know, smacked back like the other 30 firms that have filed so either they know something or they want to make a point in getting rejected.”
These developments are “signs of life” that institutional investors are looking to get into the crypto space and speak to just how “unkillable” the enthusiasm for Bitcoin is, Brown said: “This week, I think, with all of these new developments, really forces you to look back and say ‘what’s really going on here? why are these people running into a burning building?'”
The Ritholtz Wealth Management CEO noted that he owns positions in both Bitcoin and Ethereum.
At publication time, Bitcoin was up 6.3% over a 24-hour period at $28,092 and Ethereum was up 4.63% at $1,785, according to Zenger News Pro.
Produced in association with Benzinga
Edited by Saba Fatima and Asad Ali