What was the catalyst for launching Trakx?
Lionel Rebibo worked in the asset management industry for 15 years before launching Trakx about two years ago. He saw the digital asset wave growing and noticed that, in the early days, adoption was mainly limited to crypto specialists. Lionel realised digital assets were in fact a tsunami, reading buzzwords like ‘store of value’, ‘digital gold’ and ‘uncorrelated to traditional assets’.
As new derivatives and spot exchanges developed all over the world, Lionel foresaw the future of crypto investments going through indices, like ETFs in traditional banking. Passive management is a very natural trend in investment, as it is diversifying and cost efficient. Indices always include the current most successful assets without spending unnecessary time doing due diligence of each single constituent.
What is Trakx?
Trakx is a regulated digital asset exchange focused exclusively on indices that are structured in-house and distributed through our proprietary trading platform.
We work mostly with funds, asset managers, family offices and other sophisticated traders that want to diversify their portfolio into the digital asset ecosystem.
Until now, most of our customer base comes from word of mouth, but we are now structuring a sales team led by Alex Jansen and Joaquin Guttierez from Goldman Sachs.
How has the business evolved since its launch?
After being registered in July 2021 as a Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) by the AMF, the French regulator, Trakx is officially launching its platform for institutional clients and qualified investors.
The concept did not change since the beginning of this adventure. That being said, we have significantly broadened our product offering with a total of 12 strategies and indices listed on the platform.
What has been your biggest challenge so far?
Regulation has certainly been the biggest challenge so far. It took us almost a year and a half to obtain full registration of our activity in a tier-one jurisdiction. The French VASP registrations granted by the AMF represent a significant step forward in our effort to deliver a compliant solution where investors can trade digital assets with confidence and trust.
How does Trakx address an unmet need?
Trakx is the only crypto indice platform trading 24/7/365, meaning customers could buy and sell Trakx indices anytime. To do so, Trakx has developed automated bots, trading at best execution price and operating on the most liquid exchanges. Order books are transparent, allowing market makers to enhance liquidity and adjust execution price to market depth.
Trakx crypto indices enhance portfolio diversification and also significantly reduce the complexity and fees associated with the setting and reach of positions on many digital assets.
The industry is moving towards passive portfolio management products, even though crypto ETFs have constantly been rejected by regulators.
Trakx Crypto Traded Indices are an alternative to ETFs with the highest level of compliance, ultra-secure custody, and deep liquidity required by the largest investors.
Trakx is the only company registered with the French regulator for four services; to operate a trading platform for crypto traded indices, offer custody services to their clients, exchange digital assets to fiat currencies, and exchange digital assets between them.
What’s in store for the future?
On the product side, we are currently working on new innovative indices such as the ESG index, a Metaverse index and a few others. On the tech side, hedging is being automated directly through trading bots.
A next step in our roadmap will be to allow our clients to stake and lend their digital assets on the Trakx exchange to benefit from passive income. In the next couple of years, we will extend our current compliance reach to include other jurisdictions, such as Singapore.
What one piece of advice would you give to other founders or future founders?
Surround yourself with people you like to work with, and be resilient.
Gary Rebibo is cofounder and CMO at Trakx.