Interview with Nick Hammer, Blockfills Co-Founder and CEO

abdelaziz Fathi

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. 

Nick Hammer, Blockfills Co-Founder and CEO
Nick Hammer, Blockfills Co-Founder and CEO

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.

Read this next

Digital Assets

GBTC share is trading at 36% below bitcoin spot price

Grayscale Bitcoin Trust share has widened its discount relative to the underlying cryptocurrency held in the fund, the highest margin ever since its debut in 2013. Digital Currency Group’s flagship GBTC shares traded at a discount of 35.8% to net asset value (NAV) today.

Digital Assets

Crypto lender Nexo investigated by 8 US state regulators

State securities regulators in New York, California, Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Washington and Vermont are investigating crypto lender Nexo for allegedly failing to register its Earn Interest Product.

Metaverse Gaming NFT

Astar Network’s ad features 329 top brands to support Web3 in Japan

Blockchain innovation hub Astar Network is making strides in promoting the Web3 adoption worldwide. In yet another milestone, the smart contracts platform has run a national newspaper ad in Japan that set a new global record with participation from 329 blue-chip firms.

Digital Assets

Pyth Network welcomes onchain data from crypto market maker Auros

“By sharing our high-frequency trading data with a truly onchain decentralized network, we aim to foster innovation that will lead to better financial solutions for all participants.”

Digital Assets

Tokeny integrates Ownera to boost liquidity of tokenized assets

“The adoption of FinP2P will result in higher liquidity and better access to capital and assets by providing regulated firms with one secure point of connection to multiple digital asset networks across the globe.”

Digital Assets

BingX launches subsidy vouchers to cover user losses in copy trading

“With the introduction of copy trade subsidy vouchers, new users can easily try out trading strategies without incurring losses.”

Digital Assets

Talos expands sales team: Frank van Zegveld, Matt Houston, Hillary Conley

“The extensive leadership and industry expertise of these new hires will enable us to build long-lasting relationships as we continue to build out our global presence in EMEA and beyond.”

Executive Moves

FX and CFD broker Emporium Capital hires industry veteran Robert Woolfe as COO

His past experience within the FX and CFD industry includes top roles at Capital Index, London Capital Group, GKFX, ETX Capital, and IG.  “I’m delighted to be part of the Emporium Capital team and spearheading the brokerages global expansion plans”, he said about the appointment.

Retail FX

Hantec Markets wins six categories at Global Retail Forex Awards 2022

Hantec Markets has recently rebranded with a new website and a renewed growth strategy that features the #TimeToStrike hashtag to signify a time of renewed growth for the broker.