Lars Holst
Lars Holst

GCEX Bridging the gap between traditional finance and digital assets

GCEX is a technology-agnostic platform, allowing brokers, funds and other professional traders to access deep liquidity in all the markets it offers. We spoke to CEO, Lars Holst, CFA, to discover more about the firm and how it intends to lead the next phase of financial digitalisation.

Please tell us a little about the background of GCEX and what your objectives were in launching the firm.

There have been two decades of ‘broker-in-a-box’ services, but nothing has really changed, GCEX will be more like ‘crypto-in-a-box’, with new technology and institutional infrastructure for digital assets. After successfully exiting CFH in 2017, the height of ‘whitepaper mania’ in the crypto space. With time on my hands, I decided to look into it, the tech, the ideas and the people. While there is innovation, but in some ways, especially brokerage, they seemed ten years behind.

I decided to create a new modern infrastructure for FX and CFD trading as well as bring credibility and institutional-grade processes and technologies to the digital asset space.

I began looking for collaborators, a world-class team to tackle both the digital and traditional aspects. GCEX utilises many years of technology development from the foreign exchange market and has a strong ethos of being regulated and compliant, automating many aspects to reduce the cost to our clients.

What range of core products and services does GCEX provide?

Our core offering is essentially technology and tradable instruments; any Fiat to Fiat, Crypto to Fiat and Crypto to Crypto. With some exceptions, all these are tradable 24/7! Deposits accepted in crypto and major fiat currencies including EUR, GBP and USD. Our spot and CFD products also allow for leverage and Cryptos can even be used for margin in trading FX. All these are packaged and are easily consumed via FIX or our platform. On the technology side, we offer white-label tech for brokers, including everything from account and risk management. Our ‘crypto-in-a-box’ offering allows existing and new brokers to quickly offer crypto and fiats to their clients. 

Provider Profile
We take compliance extremely seriously and are regulated and applied to be registered under the new cryptoasset regime and AMLD5

What sorts of clients are you working with at GCEX?

GCEX only accepts professional and institutional clients as per our regulatory permissions. This includes brokers looking to expand their offering or technology suite, funds, asset managers and professional traders.

The digital asset space is becoming very competitive. From your perspective, what makes GCEX unique?

We’re just better! Mastery of both Crypto and FX. Credibility is lacking in digital assets, and GCEX have a team with a proven track record. Besides whilst we build up our digital assets offering, we can already offer clients FX and meet their standard technology and liquidity requirements, all very competitively priced. 

You have talked about making GCEX “Digital Brokerage 4.0”. What do you mean by that?

Tracing back progress from the creation of the internet to the start of the computer age; there now exists decentralised assets and Artificial Intelligence constituting critical aspects of what some call the fourth industrial revolution. We intend to be “Digital Brokerage 4.0”, encapsulating the notion that we are not business as usual, we are revolutionary.

In what ways is GCEX helping to bridge the gap between traditional finance and digital assets?

We bank with known banks, you can trade with known connectivity and protocols, and we hold all cryptocurrencies with insured third-party custodians. You don’t have to change anything if you’re in traditional finance, it is ‘plug in and play’. We also take compliance extremely seriously and are regulated and applied to be registered under the new cryptoasset regime and AMLD5. We learned a lot setting up GCEX, and it is complicated to navigate the new world, but we have done it so you can trade Cryptos and their crosses with relative ease and security. We also welcome interest from the digital asset space players as we offer low commissions, reliably trading and easy settlement. 

What benefits does your very modern technology infrastructure deliver?

We deliver on traditional expectations in a digital asset space. What this means is that the market becomes more connected as we bring together LPs. We are co-located in LD4 and allow for FIX and high-frequency connections to this new market. In the peripheries, we are focused on automating back-office processes and onboarding, meaning we can reduce our cost and pass that on to the client, reliably removing humans when possible. We are a Blockchain agnostic platform and will adapt to advances in the digital asset space as they mature. 

Provider Profile
We have been expanding our offices and made new hires in Glasgow, Scotland

You set out to catapult GCEX into a leading position in the institutional Digital Brokerage Market globally. How have your business plans been progressing and how much disruption has the Covid-19 crisis caused to them?

We are incredibly sorry to those who have been affected by this current situation, and we very much hope to get back to ‘normal’ again. But honestly, this has even accelerated our growth despite the disruption, and we have not noticed any dip in productivity. As a mostly online company, we are lucky in that regard. 

What plans do you have for rolling out new products over the coming months and widening your global footprint?

We signed deals with global parties in Asia, Europe and Africa. We have been expanding our offices and made new hires in Glasgow, Scotland. We will continue that push and are forging new collaborations with universities in Scotland and build our data-driven products and automation. We are a Blockchain agnostic platform and will continue to see what the future holds in interest-bearing products, DeFi, asset-backed and security tokens to bring these to traditional financial markets when they are sufficiently matured. Please watch this space as we are going to make a big impact!