Digitra.com, a Brazil-based platform for institutional and retail participants across the globe to trade cryptocurrencies and other digital assets, announced a technology agreement with Nasdaq, leveraging the cloud-based trading service via the Marketplace Services Platform. Digitra.com’s new platform was launched in August 2022 and is based in Barueri, Brazil, a city in the state of São Paulo. Digitra.com Founder and Chief Executive Officer Rodrigo Batista explains why he started Digitra.com and how the company’s unique business model is a key differentiator in the market.
Can you tell us how the idea of Digitra.com came to life and why you wanted to create a cryptocurrency trading platform?
Batista: I’ve been involved in the crypto markets since 2011. In 2013, I founded Brazil’s first crypto exchange, Mercado Bitcoin. I decided to sell the company in 2019, so I could start new projects in other areas of finance, including insurance and equity crowdfunding.
I decided to participate in Harvard University’s three-year Owner/President Management course, which provides frameworks and lessons that entrepreneurs can apply to their companies. That’s when I came up with the idea to create a crypto exchange with a unique business model.
The crypto space is going to be led by global financial institutions, but there’s a gap between digital markets and traditional financial markets. Currently, the digital markets lack strong governance and compliance structures as well as reliable systems, and those are critical to attracting institutional participation. That said, retail participants will continue to be huge players in the crypto markets, and I strongly believe that we can attract the deepest liquidity by attracting both institutional and retail order flow. Crypto exchanges tend to have transaction fee-based business models, but I think there’s room for innovation, which will appeal to retail participants.
What is the ‘Trade to Earn’ commission and fee structure, and how will this benefit participants?
Batista: Digtra.com is the first global crypto exchange to set all trading fees to zero, so clients don’t have to pay any fees or a spread to use the platform. We also created our own token, and we pay every client to trade with us based on the volumes they trade on the platform. Essentially, the tokens incentivize clients to bring liquidity to the exchange, and every client is treated as a market maker. New businesses that are innovating to promote financial inclusion using crypto can create services and take advantage of very low fees by leveraging Digitra.com’s infrastructure.
In the medium and long term, we want to build a global infrastructure for the crypto space.
How can market participants get involved in trading on Digitra.com?
Batista: We have a seamless signup process on our website at Digitra.com. Generally, people from anywhere can participate, although there are some restrictions on clients in certain countries. We have a global customer base with participants from over 10 different countries already trading on the platform.
Can you tell us more about your technology relationship with Nasdaq?
Batista: After completing my course at Harvard, I began approaching technology partners. I specifically wanted to partner with an established technology provider, so I could bring strong governance to the crypto markets. The main challenge was building a robust matching engine. It needs to run 24/7 every day of the year, and building that from scratch would take a lot of resources – time, highly skilled engineers, and capital.
Using Nasdaq’s cloud-based Marketplace Services Platform was a no-brainer because of Nasdaq’s reputation and experience as a market operator. By leveraging Nasdaq’s matching engine, I can focus on creating a great user experience and innovating our business model, leaving the heavy lifting to Nasdaq’s team.
In addition, Nasdaq’s Marketplace Services Platform will allow Digitra.com to grow and scale, which is crucial as our exchange continues to expand and offer new asset types. Digitra.com will be able to introduce new products quickly – from cryptocurrencies and stablecoins to security, energy, and carbon credit tokens – as those opportunities arise. This market is at the very beginning. By using Nasdaq technology, we’ll be able to respond to the demands of the market and offer new types of services and products that don’t even exist today.
What does the future hold for Digitra.com and the Brazilian cryptocurrency landscape?
Batista: I wanted to start Digitra.com in Brazil due to the growing economy, as well as the increasing trend of crypto becoming a more common asset class among both retail and institutional investors. Although we are Brazilian based, our plan is to be a global exchange and have clients trading all around the world. Importantly, Digitra.com will comply with the regulations of the countries in which it operates. By striking a balance between strong governance and a seamless user experience, we expect to be one of the relevant players in this market very soon.