One of the problems encountered by crypto traders seeking to utilise their foreign currency allocation for crypto trading is an ambivalence – or even outright hostility – to cryptos by some financial institutions.
Several banks have chosen to distance themselves from cryptos, citing the ‘reputational risks’ that this new asset class poses. That’s a decision they will surely have to reverse at some point in the not-too-distant future as clients demand access to cryptos. Most international banks now have crypto or blockchain research teams as a minimum, while others are now offering clients a variety of ways to purchase cryptos.
Cryptocurrency exchange and prime broker OVEX recently acquired a forex trading licence and augmented its crypto offering – comprising more than 50 crypto and stablecoin pairs – with a full-service forex desk.
OVEX CEO Jon Ovadia says the ‘white glove’ forex service currently has a minimum trade size of R200 000, and is aimed at any individual or business seeking to buy or sell fiat currency, whether for crypto or other forms of international trade.
“What we bring to the forex space that is unique is a truly white glove service,” he says. “We use WhatsApp to communicate with clients and keep them up to date with the latest forex rates. Clients can lock in a rate that meets their requirements by messaging us on WhatsApp.
“All this can be done in seconds. Plus our forex rates are about half the going market rate. We allocate a relationship manager to each of our clients so they have someone who not only knows and understands the forex market, but is going to take responsibility for the management of that account. Client queries can be handled almost instantly. You don’t have to log a query with a faceless representative and then wait days for someone to get back to you. That’s the market we set out to disrupt.”
The OVEX FX serviceallows any individual or business to buy or sell fiat currency above the minimum threshold of R200 000.
The currencies offered include US dollars (USD), euros (EUR), British pounds (GBP), Swiss francs (CHF) and Japanese yen (JPY), to name a few. OVEX has partnered with many of South Africa’s leading banking institutions and offers the best spreads in the market.
All payments go through a registered authorised dealer and normal capital laws and limits apply.
Ovadia says the OVEX FX service augments its crypto OTC and prime brokerage business, which has built a steady clientele among institutions, family offices and high-net-worth individuals.
Ovadia says the company is disrupting the forex market in several ways.
“Firstly, clients – whether retail or corporate – feel that South African financial institutions are doing them a favour by purchasing forex for them. That comes from a mindset ingrained through decades of exchange control. And with that attitude comes the high costs of purchasing forex. These costs make no sense, and we see this as a market begging for disruption.
“We can offer forex to importers, exporters, retail and corporate clients, as well as crypto traders,” adds Ovadia.
“We can offer retail clients rates as low 0.3%, which is up to a third of the price many others are charging, and we can go even lower for corporate and high-net-worth clients with large forex orders.
“Being able to seamlessly trade forex and cryptocurrency all under one roof is a big deal. We are able to offer lower rates than anyone else at lightning speed because of our deep liquidity and proprietary trading technology that we developed originally for the crypto market, and then transitioned to the forex market.”
It is becoming ever more important for sophisticated traders to have access to an A-Z service as the lines separating cryptocurrency and traditional finance become increasingly blurred.
Banks and traditional investors are becoming increasingly involved in the crypto market as regulators and cryptocurrency market-makers – like OVEX – forge a regulatory environment favourable to even the most vanilla wealth managers.
OVEX FX is aimed at importers, exporter speculators, arbitrageurs or those simply looking for a means to remit funds. OVEX FX is a full service Forex solution that bridges the gap between traditional finance and the world of cryptocurrency.
Brought to you by OVEX.
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