Interview with Ryan Rabaglia, Head of Trading OSL
Ryan is Head of Trading at OS Limited (OSL), Asia’s leading over-the-counter (OTC) digital asset brokerage, which has deployed Caspian’s full suite of crypto trading tools. With OSL managing the buying and selling of all major cryptocurrencies with clients in more than 50 countries worldwide, we could not think of anyone better suited to providing insight on the evolving crypto trading space. In the interview, Ryan discusses the importance of institutions entering crypto, their needs, and Caspian’s solutions.
How important do you think institutions are for the future of the industry? Should retail traders care about this institutional presence?
At OSL, we truly believe institutionalization is the future for the digital assets space and that’s what we build our services and products around. We are optimistic about what the future holds in this space and that does include an institutional presence.
In fact, we can see more institutions are coming into the space and are building for the future as we speak. For example, Andreessen Horowitz recently announced a $300 million fund for cryptocurrency and blockchain interests. There is news on Goldman Sachs putting money on the table to trade contracts linked to the price of bitcoin and potentially other crypto assets. The movement has begun.
Over 200 crypto hedge funds launched as of February 2018 with a value of nearly $5 billion assets under management. Over 60 blockchain and crypto ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds) are pending approval, with one of them recently approved in Canada. These all are very good examples to support our belief.
Retail traders should for sure catch this trend as the industry is here to stay.
When you talk to institutional clients, what are the biggest pieces they see missing from crypto compared with traditional finance?
Ultimately, it’s regulation and custody. These two have been in discussions for some time now and indeed regulators and industry players are working towards making this a reality. In the United States, the positive rhetoric from the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Securities and Exchange Commision (SEC) shows that they are very supportive, and global regulators are following suit. Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) has approved a number of exchanges to offer cryptocurrency trading services and the list of newly approved exchanges grows by the day.
Next would be products that traditional investors expect in the assets that they’re already trading and those are Options, ETFs, the ability to take on a short position or merely hedge etc..
For you personally, what has been the most surprising thing about transitioning to the crypto sector?
I would say the consistent volatility. I had previously come from the Oil Futures space and that market is ranked up there against the best of them in terms of volatility. Over the 5+ years that I’ve been employed in the crypto space, that has genuinely been one of the mainstays that I’ve enjoyed. As a Trader, we feed off of volatility and this space has not disappointed.
As well, the change of rhetoric. Over five years ago, you could not find many people or companies willing to take a piece of this market, let alone even begin to educate themselves about it. At OSL, today we have a very strong team of some very senior and talented individuals that have taken the leap. It’s been rewarding for all of us.
What advice would you give to someone considering making the leap into crypto now?
If you zoom out, the movement has just begun and there are vast opportunities as we solidify the future of this space.
Why did you decide to partner with Caspian?
We are seeing ever-increasing inflows of institutional counterparts and ones that demand we continue to operate at a high level. Caspian’s professional-grade platform provides us with the support we and our counterparts require. As well, the Caspian team is as good as they come in the trading software space.
What issues will Caspian solve to improve your daily operations?
In the crypto space, there is a great need for a product that can aggregate all the many different facets of the trade life-cycle. I believe Caspian has made some sizeable gains in providing a product that can fill that gap: from monitoring counterparty risk, tracking settlement procedures from start to finish, offering multiple exchange access with a single click and, of course, providing it in a secure, compliant environment.
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Caspian is a full-stack cryptoasset management platform tying together the biggest crypto exchanges in a single interface, so as to facilitate investments in crypto instruments for newcomers and veterans alike. The joint venture between heavyweights Tora and Kenetic brings to the table a wealth of experience in asset management, accumulated over decades of building and operating trading platforms and technologies