Interview with Nick Hammer, Blockfills Co-Founder and CEO
Adoption of cryptocurrencies has been a central theme in the global financial world over the last few years, with institutional interest anticipated only to increase in 2022 and beyond. Phoenix, BlockFills’ Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) crypto interface, is designed for institutional clients to access its parent’s proprietary trading technology and liquidity. The company, founded four years ago, introduced its software division in 2021 with two new institutional trading solutions, called “Vision” and “Zephyr.”
FinanceFeeds has engaged in an exclusive interview with Nick Hammer, BlockFills Co-Founder and CEO. The two-decade industry veteran shares a few thoughts on Phoenix’s journey, the future of cryptocurrencies and why he believes there is much more room to grow as the blockchain industry is still in its early stages of development.
- Phoenix was launched by BlockFills as a SaaS Crypto platform for brokers, banks, and asset managers looking to add digital assets to their offering. Can you provide more details about the solution and why it is the right choice?
Phoenix is a front-end crypto interface that has proven indispensable to our clients by providing them access to our cryptocurrency trading technology and liquidity services. Phoenix is unique in that it gives institutions access to an extremely advanced technology platform, allowing them to make secure, efficient and accurate investments with confidence 24/7.
We’ve noticed a large gap in the technology available – other crypto platforms frequently crash, provide subpar user experience, execute orders at different price points, or generally have poor tech design. Based on our decades of experience in institutional trading, we knew there could and should be a better option for professional traders who require a higher level of service and technology than retail traders. Phoenix supports both spot, NDFs, futures and cfds while offering traders the most technical trading tools of any platform in its’ class.
In addition, Phoenix is available as a turn-key white label solution for client facing institutions that are adding crypto to their product offering.
- In January, BlockFills raised $37 million from SIG, CME, Simplex, C6S, Nexo, and others to support further expansion, but spot trading volumes surged over 20x on an average monthly basis since January 2020. How much room is there to grow?
Since 2020, we have experienced a tremendous amount of growth and interest from global institutions looking for better connectivity, increased market access and most of all, novel financial technology solutions that help them build their digital asset trading businesses efficiently and securely. Currently, we are working to scale several new technology solutions that we believe will accelerate our position in the market even further.
We believe there is much more room to grow as this industry is still in its early stages of development and we believe our technology is uniquely positioned to scale to accommodate an increasingly fast growing market. We will continue to deploy capital and resources to gain market share.
- How does BlockFills determine which digital assets to offer its clients? Is it from demand from clients? Is it institutional market trends? What else?
We offer algorithmic access to deep liquidity in the most commonly traded digital assets as well as numerous altcoins that meet the requirements of our security infrastructure solutions, and we recently expanded this list in 2021. We primarily trade bitcoin (BTC), ethereum (ETH), zcash (ZEC), bitcoin cash (BCH), ethereum classic (ETC), monero (XMR), zcash (ZEC), ripple (XRP), NEO, QTUM, AND litecoin (LTC). Beyond these pairs, we have the capabilities design and implement custom integrations to any venue with FIX, Web-Socket or REST API infrastructure.
We are constantly evaluating which digital assets to offer our institutional clients, and our technology stacks are designed to evolve with market digital asset investment demands. We pay close attention to what our clients are asking for and we have built out our tech stack to make it an easy lift to deliver the new products our clients need very efficiently.
- Your website says the Liquidity as a Service solution is “Multi-Asset Capable”. What does that mean?
We deploy a multi-asset platform that provides price discovery, electronic order matching, smart order routing and trade reconciliation solutions for institutions in the digital spot, derivatives and lending markets. Here, clients can connect to BlockFills, or BlockFills can connect directly to the client through custom integrations to any venue with FIX, Web-Socket or REST API infrastructure. This flexibility is a key advantage of our technology platforms, and allows each client to customize the platform precisely to their needs. Our platform can also handle traditional financial products and other markets that most cannot.
Nick Hammer, BlockFills Co-Founder and CEO
Nick began his financial career in 2001, working in Fixed Income at ABN AMRO Bank N.V. He has since held various positions in the financial services industry including roles in banking, equities, fixed income, futures, and OTC FX trading. He was an owner and principal of Lotus Brokerage, a Chicago based futures and FX Broker responsible for raising over 20,000 FX accounts on a global level from 2008-2012. Nick founded Basis Capital Markets UK, an FCA regulated Broker Dealer in 2015 and has since served as Chairman. Nick has a strong background in the derivatives and eFX marketplace, with experience servicing a wide variety of clientele including institutional, algorithmic, high frequency and retail traders. Nick has held FINRA Series 3, 7, 30, 34, and 63 licenses. He also holds an RG146 license with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission and serves as a Board Member of two e-commerce companies.