Named after an ancient Roman Goddess, MonetaGo is looking to provide liquidity to Bitcoin exchanges in 35 countries around the world, with the goal to expand to 50 by the end of the year.
“We want to be the umbrella to the other exchanges,” Margaux Avedisian, co-founder and business development officer, told Bitcoin Magazine at Inside Bitcoins New York.
Whereas other exchanges launch in one country and look to sign up consumer traders, MonetaGo aims to connect all of these exchanges together to increase liquidity for them all. Further, MonetaGo allows trades to be settled in multiple currencies. This is possible because the company is built using the AlphaPoint trading platform, a company that Avedisian launched in 2013.
Jesse Chenard, CEO and co-founder, offered the following example: “If someone wanted to buy $100 worth of bitcoin on a U.S. exchange, but there was only $50 in available bitcoin, the trade couldn’t occur. MonetaGo would connect that trade to another exchange that also had $50 in available bitcoin, allowing the trade to go through.”
Chenard has experience taking small ideas and making them large. He is the founder of Tremor Video, which had its initial public offering in 2013. The rest of the founding team is composed of the former Creative Director at NASDAQ, one of the co-founders of igot, the president of the Bitcoin Association of Hong Kong, and Avedisian.
The company is in beta and is privately funded. While based in New York City, the company isn’t expanding into the United States yet.
“The regulation is still too uncertain in the United States,” Chenard explained.
The Coming Consolidation of Exchanges
The launch of another exchange begs the question: Does the ecosystem actually need another one?
Chenard doesn’t see it being a problem for MonetaGo because they view their company as more business-to-business, targeting the other exchanges. But he does agree that there will be consolidation in the industry over the next year and a half.
“If you look at some of these countries, they might have four or five different exchanges that are operational. You have one that is by and far the leader, you might have another that has some volume, but the remaining two or three really have no volume,” Chenard explained. “While they might have really great products, they just can’t get the volume to compete. These will either be acquired because of their products or they will be able to work through our exchange to gain that volume.”
Where’s Wall Street?
Liquidity is one of the reasons Wall Street has had to stay out of the sector. The amount of money Wall Street is looking to move is significantly greater than what is available on the exchanges.
According to Chenard, though, it’s a lack of understanding that has kept Wall Street from getting into bitcoin. “They’ve likely heard of bitcoin, but you ask them too much about it and they just don’t really understand,” he said.
On top of that, there is fear of bitcoin going away. “So many businesses have shut down over the years, taking their consumers’ bitcoin with them, that there is fear for a lot of Wall Street,” he said.
Fundamentally, until Wall Street understands the state of the asset and are certain their money won’t disappear, the large money firms are going to hang out on the side. Bitcoin just isn’t worth it for traders looking to move $50 million a day, Chenard said.
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