Written from the perspective of Hehmeyer CEO, Chris Hehmeyer.
To borrow the common terminology of the day, 2020 was an “unprecedented” year in many respects for the world, and for our business. We witnessed a number of historic events unlike years past, we battled through a pandemic-induced economic recession, we watched Bitcoin experience a low of $3k and a rally all the way up to over $30k to end the year, and we made the commitment over the summer to shift our business focus entirely to the crypto space. It was a busy year, to say the least — a year unlike any other. And through the start of 2021, we have yet to take our foot off of the gas pedal.
As someone who’s been around the block — at least in the trading world — there were new challenges to overcome, new issues to face, and new opportunities to pursue. Although it was bittersweet to say goodbye to the listed derivatives customer business, I am very proud of the explosive growth that we experienced in this last year and I remain steadfast in our commitment to participate in the evolution of the digital asset market.
While we have been trading OTC markets in spot crypto for a number of years now, our pivot to fully commit to the digital asset space kickstarted our expansion. With an already strong foundation at the start of 2020, we at Hehmeyer achieved 7X growth in notional ADV; we significantly grew the number of products we trade; and, through our subsidiaries, we now make markets for our counterparties in almost two dozen more coins.
Of course, this all comes alongside significant industry expansion. With more publicly traded companies and institutional investors embracing digital assets than ever before, mainstream adoption will only continue to increase globally.
As our company has grown and the industry has expanded, the core of our business has always been focused on our OTC spot counterparties, as we bring them a superior experience and the ability to efficiently engage with digital assets. In order to best serve our counterparties, our team at Hehmeyer has increasingly seen the need for a technology partner. To that end, I am thrilled to announce we have merged our OTC market making and electronic trading business with Nortide Capital, a Swiss-based market maker in digital assets, creating Hehmeyer Nortide AG.
Nortide was a compelling partner for Hehmeyer for a number of reasons: while both our firms are growing, we have complementary strengths that, combined in a new firm, will undoubtedly lead to better prices and opportunities for our counterparties. Not only will we be able to offer world-class competitive pricing, we can quickly implement new and unique features to address a dynamic and ever-changing market.
We are joining the vibrant and innovative crypto community in Zug, Switzerland, where the new Hehmeyer Nortide will be headquartered. We are a global firm, and strongly feel the need for a global venue from which to conduct our operation.
As challenging and unusual as 2020 was for all of us, the journey of digital assets is just beginning and has inspired so many of us to be inquisitive, creative, and curious in times of immense hardship and uncertainty. We are all adapting to the requirements of a digitized world, and the technology is out there for even further innovation. Although there have yet to be seismic impacts from this space on the world and its economy, I expect that to change. I also expect the industry to become more familiar and understood. I hope, sooner rather than later, that we will begin to establish legislation that creates innovative, dynamic, and trustworthy trading environments. The technologies will bring people the ability to control their own assets. People will need a market for the assets they want to buy, sell, or trade, and we hope to provide such a market… liberating interactions between people the world over.
At Hehmeyer Nortide, we will continue to advocate for these innovations and advancements, and we are committed to playing a role in the future that digital assets promise.