Hirander Misra: GMEX Group (GMEX) Is a Leading Global Operator of Multi-asset Exchange Trading and Post Trade Software

August 9, 2022

GMEX Group (GMEX) is a leading global operator of multi-asset exchange trading and post-trade software/SaaS and PaaS market infrastructure and digital services, with clients and distribution across the globe, initially targeting worldwide financial markets, and with plans for further vertical sector extension.

GMEX offers business expertise, the latest technology, connectivity and operational excellence delivered through an aligned partnership-driven approach to exchanges, trading venues, clearing houses, depositories, registries, digital custodians, capital markets participants (e.g. asset managers, banks and brokers), corporate entities and warehouse receipt platforms.

Tell us about yourself?

I have over 25 years of electronic market data, trading and exchange experience on both the business and technology side with over 5 years of knowledge in enabling digital asset market infrastructure and marketplaces in addition to the work myself and GMEX have done on traditional capital markets.

I was attracted to financial capital markets and Fintech as I did an economics degree at the London School of Economics and when I started to work, I realised that people on the business side did not know about technology and those on the technology side did not know about the business, and so I then did a Masters in Business Systems Analysis and Design so that I could know about both mapped in a way that could drive business.

This is the best thing I did as technology is the enabler in our business and the business case is what should be the driver.

If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?

The last two years have consisted of being in a global economy in the midst of the pandemic, which has required some adjustments in the way we work, which has also spawned greater opportunity for the right types of Fintech offerings.

We are bringing in strategic investors who see such opportunities that we are capitalising on as GMEX.

My advice would have been to start that process of capital investment to scale a little earlier, but that said, the timing is working out well as sometimes you can be too ahead of the market with a go-to-market and it is all about as close as possible aligning to when the market is ready by just getting slightly ahead of it.

What problem does your business solve?

The market capitalisation of the digital assets market was estimated at over US$2 trillion at the end of Q1 2022 by Fortune and is expected to grow to 10% of Global GDP (estimated by GMEX Group at US$24 TRILLION) by 2025 according to the World Economic Forum.

However, currently the fragmented digital asset market largely replicates traditional silos through the utilization of single product, or ring-fenced, API connectivity.

Without a standard approach to interoperability between the platforms, issues such as a lack of digital asset inventory portability and system security risk persist.

Digital markets are also impacted by performance issues that are the result of poor customer service, regulatory risk and few system controls.

To capitalise on this huge market opportunity there is a need to bridge the gap between traditional financial market infrastructure and decentralised finance in a way that is interoperable to facilitate seamless trading, clearing and settlement between both ecosystems.

What is the inspiration behind your business?

Marketplaces and exchanges with the associated post trade infrastructure to handle transaction processing is central to everything we do across sectors, across asset classes and across jurisdictions for multiple types of participants.

However most of these run as vertical silos and there is no integration between API-driven traditional finance and blockchain based decentralised finance, which is further fragmented by the existence of multiple blockchains.

A game changing approach was needed, which eradicates silos and fosters interoperability as a ‘network of networks’ as it enables fast and efficient cross-venue trading, clearing and settlement of traditional and digital assets – including cryptoassets and hybrid derivatives – with transaction immutability and integrity.

This exchange marketplace development and creation and subsequent need to facilitate traditional market infrastructure and digital assets infrastructure rails to distribute services between multiple participants where any given participant can be both a provider of services and a seller of services, is what inspired GMEX.

What is your magic sauce?

As the global financial ecosystem moves slowly but inexorably towards ‘Finance 4.0’, there is increasing demand for access to a full range of digital products and services alongside more traditional offerings; as traditional finance (TradFi), new centralised finance (CeFi) and decentralised finance (DeFi) solutions converge, we entering an era of hybrid finance (HyFi).

GMEX is the only offering with a complete end-to-end HyFi solution that bridges between off-chain TradFi, CeFi and on-chain DeFi for financial institutions with interoperability between them in a way that can distribute services using APIs and multiple public and private blockchains.

This provides absolute flexibility, enabling institutions to offer a range of digital assets through a trusted, enterprise-grade infrastructure.

The solution also resolves KYC/AML issues, with the technology including third-party services from experts in aspects like coin forensics and tokenization.

This means that for financial markets participants wanting to offer digital assets through their existing platforms and avoid ‘being on the blockchain’ (or worse, being spread across multiple chains), GMEX’s Hybrid Finance (HyFi) infrastructure is tailor made for them.

It can facilitate use cases such as:

  • Issuance and distribution of tokenised assets between participants and on multiple venues
  • Access to multiple custodians with on and off chain clearing and settlement
  • Access to DeFi yield pools mapped to KYC/ AML
  • Best execution
  • Accessing ESG investments

This is done by way of 3 key interrelated service offerings by focusing its efforts on its core Hub & Spoke proposition based on:

a. GMEX MultiHub Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS): A cloud-based digital ‘multi-asset network of networks’ trading and post-trade digital market infrastructure platform (built in collaboration with AWS), with APIs to interconnect and enable 3rd party services for multiple financial participants across traditional and digital asset markets;

b. GMEX Fusion (Software and SaaS): A hybrid (traditional and digital) exchange and post-trade technology software product suite to enable 3rd party financial venue “spoke” nodes into the MultiHub PaaS cloud. The MultiHub has been designed to enable an API-based many-to-many global connectivity to all market participants, including for decentralised yield-farming platforms and other stakeholders; and

c. GMEX Pyctor (SaaS) secure Digital Custody and Blockchain Network: A Digital Custodian Technology and Post-Trade Blockchain Network (which has been recently acquired from ING) required by tier 1 and 2 participants to support a wide range of digital assets across private and public blockchains.

What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?

The plan is to use our unique Hybrid Finance (HyFi) infrastructure to enable multiple sectors for multiple types of participants across jurisdictions and therefore usher in the era of Web3 in a way that is compatible with Web2.

Anyone, anywhere whether a B2B institution or individual should be able to both transact on 3rd party exchanges/marketplaces and on or offer what they have by way of their own ‘exchange-in-a-box’ that is seamlessly plugged into a global ecosystem of participants and services in a way which is regulatory compliant yet efficient and cost effective.

This will lead to the democratisation of finance and its accessibility to a wider audience.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?

The biggest challenge has been market education as words like digital transformation are often overused and there is a lot of hype in digital assets, whereby companies get inundated with information, which is not always accurate or fit for purpose, and as such they struggle to relate it to what they are doing.

The challenge has been to address this and work with our clients and potential clients and partners to create tangible opportunities together with real use cases.

As the digital assets market is moving fast, there has been the need to be agile and flexible so that you can tweak the approach as you collectively learn so you become the ‘speed boat’ as opposed to the ‘passenger cruise ship’, therefore making it easy to chart a course that may need to adapt.

How do people get involved/buy into your vision?

Exchanges, trading venues, clearing houses, depositories, registries, digital custodians, capital markets participants (e.g. asset managers, banks and brokers), corporate entities and warehouse receipt platform operators should get in touch if they want to pursue a digital transformation agenda and get into digital assets in a way that integrates with their current infrastructure.

This will enable them to get into digital assets cost effectively in a way which unlocks new revenue opportunities based on use cases, which can deliver a return on investment and therefore stack up as a business case.

We are also looking at two way distribution partnerships for accelerated go-to-market such as that we have with AWS and these can include current vendors that provide a service in the digital assets sector, whereby we can integrate two way and create a wider service offering and harness client activity which provides two way revenue streams.

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