Frequently asked

questions

Find out more_

Market making

01

What is market making?

Market making is providing liquidity on the capital markets to make sure there is enough volume at a reasonable price for investors to buy and sell tokens. Market makers provide bids and offers and make money on the spread, just like a currency exchange kiosk. Market making is not new to crypto, it is a well-established financial practice used in the traditional financial markets for decades. You can learn more about crypto market making in our dedicated blogpost.


02

When do market makers provide markets for free?

Every professional market maker has some kind of formal or informal threshold of when they can make profit. The threshold differs depending on the level of market maker sophistication, but generally a daily volume of at least $5M/pair is attractive for a crypto market maker.


03

If I am a listed project, doesn't the exchange take care of liquidity?

No, a crypto exchange, like any other exchange, is a platform to connect buyers and sellers. However, if there are few buyers or sellers for your token, there is nothing an exchange can do. Market makers play the role of buyers and sellers. To put it into perspective, up to 50–60% of U.S. equity trading volume comes from high-frequency trading market makers, so that any investor can buy and sell any equity at any time.


Most exchanges in both traditional and crypto markets rely on market makers to provide liquidity on their platforms. Exchanges consider market makers as important customers as retail and institutional traders and create specific market making programs to attract and cater to liquidity providers.


Crypto exchanges are becoming more and more similar to traditional exchanges every day. Most top tier exchanges now require projects to have market makers as a condition for getting listed. Don’t test your luck trying to get listed without getting an advice from a professional market maker first.


Ask your targeted exchange to introduce you to 2-3 best crypto market makers! Professional exchanges (e.g., Coinbase, Kraken) would be your best advisors in this respect.


04

Can I do market making myself or use a trading bot?

The best crypto market making firms have proprietary software, large development teams and professional traders with years of industry experience. Market making requires major investments in IT infrastructure, algorithm development, risk management policies, and access to working capital. Trading bots are usually very simple algorithms. They may work on “good days” in under-developed markets, but most are not robust and fast enough to compete with the professional market makers.


05

Does market making help me get listed?

Having a market maker on board helps you get listed on a crypto exchange, especially if it is a higher tier exchange. The biggest worry of an exchange is having a listed project without trading going on. If the exchange knows that the project has a good market maker, they expect certain trading activity and, therefore, can rely on consistent trading fees.

Wintermute is an official market maker and partner on 30+ major exchanges. We know the advantages of different exchanges and can advise you on the best exchange to get listed.


06

Why do I need a secondary listing on a crypto exchange?

Different exchanges focus on different parts of the market in terms of regions (e.g., US, Asia, Europe), customers (e.g., retail vs. institutional), supported currencies (crypto vs. fiat), level of centralization. By listing on a second exchange you get access to a different set of investors. Many projects start with a lower tier exchange and use it as a reference case to get listed on a higher tier exchange. Larger projects first list on the largest exchange and then add regional or product-specififc exchanges.

Wintermute Trading can advice you on the exchange to choose based on your business objectives and past performance. We can also advice you on how to get listed on a higher tier exchange or one of our partner exchanges.


07

Does every listed token need market making?

Yes, because every token needs to have a liquid market as a service for investors and broader community. Top 10-15 tokens can count on market makers coming for free and “making the market”, all other coins need tailored help, otherwise, they risk having illiquid market and unsatisfied investors. Even top 10-15 coins most often require help with liquidity on certain exchanges or pairs.

Market makers also make sure that the market parameters (e.g., spread, volume) make the participation of more sophisticated investors feasible. For example, if there is a 5% spread on your token, you may attract a few retail investors, but no sane crypto hedge fund will trade.

Read more about why projects require dedicated market making support in our blogpost dedicated to the topic.


08

My market liquidity deteriorated. Can liquidity always be restored?

Market demand is driven by high-quality product and professional product marketing is a prerequisite for long-term liquidity.

However, many good projects, especially in the early months and at times of “dips” and high volatility, lack liquidity for reasons that are not internal to the project. In these cases, market making can significantly improve your chances to restore liquidity. Please connect with us and we can give you specific advice on what can be done in your situation.


09

Does market making cause market manipulation?

Market making is an established and sophisticated financial practice used for decades in traditional financial markets by some of the world’s best banks, hedge funds (e.g., Citadel), and proprietary trading firms (e.g., Virtu Financial, Optiver). In traditional financial markets, market making it is established, and the times of the Wild West are long gone.

In the earlier days of crypto, some agents used to misuse the term. While the situation has improved significantly since 2020, there are still bad and ugly practices going on. Read more about the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly practices of crypto market making. Wintermute only participates in the Good practices that are similar to the practices employed by the world’s best market makers in the traditional markets. Actually, most of Wintermute’s senior team comes from the world’s leading high-frequency trading houses like Optiver.


10

Can market makers "create a trend", promise specific volume or prices?

Creating the trend (making the price go up) or promising a specific price are the Bad, and Ugly practices of crypto market making. Most of them would be illegal in the traditional markets. These practices are illegal because they are causing harm to investors. Even in the unregulated crypto space you should not get involved into these practices, if not for ethical, then for self-serving purposes. Causing harm to investors will cost much more to you and your reputation than short term returns you can potentially receive.

Having said this, the results of a professional market maker job (when combined with good company fundamentals like product and marketing) are indeed higher volumes and positive price trends.


11

What can Wintermute Trading commit to?

We commit to a specific spread across all the exchanges and pairs that your token is traded on. We commit to having our algorithms work for you 24/7, supported by experienced traders, even in fast markets or during unpredictable events. Look at our offer here or reach out to us. We do not charge fees.

High-quality projects are likely to get better volumes and higher price with market making but we don’t commit to it, because the only way to deliver on that commitment with 100% probability is to engage in unethical practices like wash-trading. Wintermute advises to not work with any trading companies that promise increased volumes and price. Ask your exchange partners for advise regarding market makers.


12

We sent you a message but you haven't responded

We get a lot of questions and requests for market making. Trust us, we read them all!


Unfortunately, many of the messages are from extremely early stage ventures which we are unable to vet. We also sometimes get messages from small projects or exchanges who (we suspect) are not engaged in the “Good” practices. We published a lot of content here and we are very transparent about our position. We are a startup ourselves with limited resources and we focus these resources on the exchanges and projects where we see a mutually benefitial relationship.


If you believe we have overlooked you, ping us again – you know where to find us.


OTC

13

How can I start trading with Wintermute?

Wintermute is trading with entities and qualified individuals. We offer prices manually over chats or automatically via our RFQ platform. All counterparties are required to complete our KYC/AML onboarding process. Contact us on otc@wintermute.com to learn more.


14

Do I have to go through KYC/AML?

Yes, all counterparties must complete KYC/AML process in line with regulatory requirements and best practices. Wintermute has a temporary registration from the FCA in line with crypto AML/CTF regime. You can see our registration status here.


15

What coins do you trade?

We trade 50+ of token, including all major ones (BTC, ETH), all major stablecoins and all major alts. Wintermute has one of the largest coverage in the industry. We do not trade privacy coins.


16

Can you settle in fiat?

Yes, we can settle trades in main fiat currencies, such as USD, GBP, EUR and others.


17

Do you have minimum or maximum trading size?

We do not have a maximum trading size and facilitate a block of any size, including very large blocks from financial institutions and large corporations. 


We do not have a minimum trading size and are happy to work with smaller and growing counterparties, for example, we work a lot with founders and employees of growing blockchain projects and other qualified parties. 


General questions about Wintermute

18

Where is your name coming from?

Wintermute is an AI character from the 1984 Neuromancer book.


19

When was Wintermute founded?

Wintermute was founded in July 2017 by Evgeny Gaevoy, a former Head of ETF market making at Optiver.


20

What is the best way to apply?

The best way to apply is to apply for one of the jobs on our career page. We do read all the applications and strive to reply to every single application.


21

What is a successful candidate profile?

A successful candidate profile depends on the role – please read the job description and related requirements carefully. We expect all successful candidates to demonstrated proven interest in joining Wintermute and their particular role. Because we work as a team on common goals, we also find culture fit important, so we advice reading our culture section of the website.


22

Where are you based?

Most of Wintermute’s team are in London. We encourage and help with relocation to London for candidates coming from all over the world. We also have a growing office in Singapore.