Crypto brokerage Tagomi released its borrowing and lending platform to the wider public, enabling investors to short cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ethereum.
Tagomi’s COO Kevin Johnson told CoinDesk that its new platform addresses issues that stymie institutional crypto shorts.
Many large-scale investors could not short cryptocurrencies as rapidly as they might short an equity position because the existing borrowing process for crypto is too complex, Johnson said: “It’s multiple steps, it’s a lot of work.”
“First, you have to either find an exchange that’s able to lend, or talk to one of the centralized lending counterparties, negotiate rates, settle that, borrow, and then you could get to be in the process of actually selling the coin short.”
Johnson said this has been the biggest barrier for institutional investors.
Co-founder Marc Bharvaga said the service brings Tagomi closer to becoming a full-suite prime brokerage, which is how institutional investors prefer to manage their trading.
“Having a full prime brokerage functionality, which we now have through being able to do best execution, being able to custody, being able to lend, being able to short and there’s quite a few other things on the road map as we think about the [crypto] space,” Bharvaga said.
Tagomi completed a $12 million funding round in March, when co-founder Jennifer Campbell told CoinDesk then that it would expand its services to include lending and shorting.