Qredo, a prominent player in the crypto custody infrastructure arena, has announced the shutdown of its hybrid crypto derivatives exchange, Ankex. This decision, influenced by ongoing financial challenges, marks a significant shift in the company’s strategy, especially considering that Ankex had only recently entered its public beta phase three months prior.
Ankex was an ambitious project, blending the distinct features of both centralized and decentralized cryptocurrency exchanges. It was particularly notable for its self-custody model, which empowered users with complete control over their funds, eliminating the need for intermediary involvement. This approach was a part of Ankex’s broader effort to mimic the user experience of centralized exchanges while providing enhanced security and autonomy.
The platform, which made its debut in November 2022, had enlisted Michael Moro, the former CEO of the now-bankrupt crypto lender Genesis Global, to lead the venture. Following the shutdown announcement, Moro has also departed from Ankex. Presently, although Ankex’s website remains online, key functionalities such as sign-up, login, and support are no longer operational.
Qredo’s journey to this point has been eventful. The firm successfully raised $80 million in a Series A funding round in February 2022, reaching a valuation of $460 million. However, the past months have seen the company grappling with considerable financial pressures, leading to two major rounds of layoffs this fall, as it acknowledged its tight fiscal situation. Last month, a spokesperson for Qredo revealed plans to pivot back to the company’s foundational offerings in Web3 wallets and custody solutions.
The concept of hybrid cryptocurrency exchanges, like Ankex, is innovative in the crypto space. These platforms combine the efficiencies of centralized exchanges with the autonomy of decentralized trading, offering a unique mix that appeals to a broad range of crypto traders. The primary purpose of any cryptocurrency exchange, hybrid or otherwise, is to facilitate the buying and selling of digital currencies, akin to the role of stock exchanges in traditional finance.
The benefits of hybrid exchanges are noteworthy. They employ stringent security protocols, including multi-factor authentication, cold storage of funds, and state-of-the-art encryption techniques, to safeguard users’ assets against a spectrum of threats.
This development in the crypto exchange landscape underscores the volatile nature of the industry and the importance of adaptive business strategies in navigating financial complexities. As Qredo refocuses on its core competencies, the crypto community watches closely to see how this will influence the broader market and the evolution of hybrid crypto exchanges.