Vanguard is testing a new blockchain based platform that will allow it and other asset managers to trade currencies and avoid the big investment banks. The platform has apparently been operational for two months and has handled some trades.
The project’s success would also mark a leap in the evolution of the FX market, which has been inching toward a peer-to-peer model over at least two decades, said Adams, who has more than 30 years experience trading currencies and now runs Pure Digital, a venue for cryptocurrencies. When Adams worked on the FX trading desks of Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank in the 1990s, asset managers made currency trades almost exclusively through banks. In the mid-2000s, buy-side firms could match trades with other investors on electronic trading platforms but still had to go through a bank to execute them, said Adams. Vanguard’s initiative would bypass that, too.