2TM teams up with Giant Steps to launch crypto quant trading service

2TM Group, the holding company for Latin America’s largest crypto exchange, MercadoBitcoin.com, plans to launch a crypto asset manager focused on quantitative trading.

For the launch, 2TM is collaborating with Giant Steps, Brazil’s largest qualitative investment manager with approximately 7 billion Brazilian reais ($1.5 billion) of assets under management. The latter was one the first Brazilian hedge fund managers to embrace the quant-trading philosophy and hopes to reach 10 billion reais in assets by year end.

The Sao Paulo-based asset manager, which counts 100,000 investors and 45 employees, would build out the product portfolio and retain a minority stake of the 2TM service , according to Brazilian financial media site InfoMoney.

Despite “strong growth rates” in the Brazilian quantitative trading market, Giant Steps says this segment only accounts for about 2% of total fund assets in the country. Latin America’s biggest quant asset manager signaled its interest in crypto when it invested last year in Polvo Technologies, which develops machine-learning strategies to trade futures of Bitcoin and digital assets.

Brazilians have not missed crypto boom

Nasdaq-listed crypto exchange operator Coinbase is reportedly in talks to acquire Brazilian unicorn 2TM Group.

Both firms didn’t share the financial details of the acquisition, but 2TM was valued at roughly $2.2 billion in December after the latest $50 million fund-raise. Softbank-backed Brazilian company also declined to comment on the size of the deal, citing confidentiality agreement.

Headed by Daniel Cunha, 2TM is the second Latin American crypto-focused unicorn after Bitso and its subsidiary Mercado Bitcoin counts nearly 3.5 million customers. Per its own statistics, trade volume at the crypto exchange hit $7 billion last year, surpassing its total for the first seven years. The Brazilian firm raised $250 million in two financing rounds in 2021, led by Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp.

Some of 2TM’s investments include a stake in US$PRINTS tokens in the leading NFT curation and collection group Fingerprints DAO, holding some 20,000 ETH worth of NFTs. The crypto firm, founded by Gustavo and Mauricio Chamati, was the first in the world to tokenize public debt assets in 2019.

Brazilians have not missed the cryptocurrency trend and the country has been a hive of activity related to crypto assets. Within Latin America, the nation was the cryptocurrency ringleader both on the regulatory side and on the development side. As it now stands, the country’s financial watchdog, the CVM, bans regulated investment funds from trading in the virtual asset class.