‘Trading volumes were crazy’: Miami broker-dealer cashes in on crypto crash

Miami broker-dealer Avenue Securities experienced a surge in trading activity last week on its recently launched crypto platform as digital currencies across the board saw their prices plummet, wiping out hundreds of billions in value from the industry.

‘Trading volumes here were crazy,’ Andre Algranti, Avenue’s chief business development officer, told Citywire on Friday last week.

‘Over the past two or three days we saw a huge increase in trading volume, even compared with the last few weeks because of the volatility,’ he added.

Avenue launched a digital asset trading platform based in Miami back in March in response to rising demand from its base of offshore clients in Brazil for access to digital assets. The platform allows them to buy or sell crypto assets directly, but Avenue doesn’t provide them with any recommendations or advice, said Algranti.

At the time of its inception, the firm’s crypto trading platform had more than 30 digital currencies available, which can be accessed by its network of more than 2,500 financial advisors in Brazil as well as its international clients.

‘We’ve been seeing a lot of net inflows from crypto,’ said Algranti.

Since Monday of last week, his firm has seen an average of $40m a day in trading volumes, he said. Around 15% was in crypto assets and of that 60% is Bitcoin.

Last week’s crypto crash saw the value of digital currencies plunge as investors fled the space, erasing roughly $200bn in value from the industry and culminating in the collapse of ‘stablecoin’ TerraUSD, which fell to exactly $0 on Friday.

The price of Bitcoin dropped below $30,000, its lowest point since 2020, while Ethereum, the world’s second most popular digital currency, fell below $2,000 for the first time since June 2021.

Meanwhile Coinbase, the largest exchange for crypto, shed more than half its value last week as the platform experienced major outages.

However, according to Algranti, users of his firm’s crypto platform saw the crash as a buying opportunity.

‘We still saw a lot of people buying crypto… While the platform is still smaller compared to the other traditional products we trade, it has still grown very quickly since we launched it,’ he said.

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