Susquehanna Is The Mark Zuckerberg Of The Winklevii’s Bitcoin Play

Litigation (probably) pending!
(Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

Remember the Winklevii’s not-so-short-lived plans for a bitcoin ETF? We don’t, either. But the two were serious enough about the doomed enterprise to engage Susquehanna International Group to help out with the endeavor, in much the same way they once asked Mark Zuckerberg to help them out with a little coding. And like Zuckerberg before it, Susquehanna has turned that request for help into a potentially profitable little business line.

Susquehanna International Group in Bala Cynwyd, Pa., just outside Philadelphia, is one of the largest players in trading traditional investments like stocks, options and exchange traded funds, or E.T.F.s. Over the last two years, the privately owned company has also built up a trading desk of around a dozen people that buys and sells millions of dollars’ worth of Bitcoin and other virtual or cryptocurrencies in private deals.

Now the firm is opening trading to a small group of its 500 clients, with plans to expand….

Susquehanna first experimented with trading Bitcoin in 2014 after the investor twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss asked the firm about being involved with a Bitcoin E.T.F. that they had applied to regulators to create.

Regulators eventually denied that application. But Susquehanna kept its one Bitcoin trader on board, and then added a few more last year when the cryptocurrency markets took off.

One Firm Is Way Ahead of Wall Street on Bitcoin [NYT]