Joseph McGlawn was recently named Head of Clearing at ErisX and plays a strategic role in the clearing and settlement of the firm’s crypto spot and futures markets. We sat down with Joseph to learn more about the unique challenges of clearing digital products, how his background prepared him and how he approaches his role today.
“A colleague of mine in Asia who is very active in the space planted the seed years ago,” said McGlawn about making the jump from traditional finance to crypto. “Over time I read up on various cryptocurrencies and blockchain initiatives being explored for applications in traditional finance. I generally tried to stay aware of developments in this ever evolving industry.”
After speaking with a former colleague working at ErisX, McGlawn joined the company in July 2019 reporting to then-Chief Strategy Officer Matthew Trudeau.
“Everything about the approach and mission ErisX was taking in the crypto space was exciting and aligned with my way of thinking,” he said.
McGlawn worked closely with Trudeau as Senior Strategist at ErisX responsible for research, development and execution of strategic initiatives and intellectual property across the firm. A few of the projects Joseph worked on included ErisX’s margined futures contracts that will be introduced later this year as well as the ErisX RSBIX designed sporting event contracts.
In February 2021, McGlawn was promoted to Head of Clearing at ErisX. His responsibilities evolved to manage and oversee daily operations of the firm’s spot and derivatives clearinghouse in compliance with regulations.
“This involves collaborating across our risk and compliance groups to ensure implementation and monitoring of our regulatory requirements,” said McGlawn. “I am also continuously exploring ways to enhance and improve our operational capabilities as well as working with our business development, strategy and product teams to assess opportunities to expand our products and services.”
McGlawn believes there are various aspects to crypto that make it a unique product for clearing, including incredible advances in technology.
“Given these are digital assets, traditional elements to a clearinghouse such as settlement and custody continue to evolve as new assets and new protocols continue to grow,” said McGlawn. “Furthermore, because crypto can be moved 24 hours a day, 7 days a week you need systems and support that can operate efficiently continuously.”
McGlawn is best suited to lead ErisX’s clearing efforts due to his in-depth expertise in traditional clearing services. Prior to joining the exchange and clearinghouse, he served in a diverse set of cleared derivatives roles at Barclays including trading, treasury, product and operations.
He says that he enjoys learning new things and problem solving, which for many things in finance, he believes, is about making something more efficient.
“I enjoy that treasury management is multi-faceted as it encompasses various forms of risk management, liquidity management and funding optimization,” he said. “Some of the key benefits of central clearing such as enhanced risk management, transparency and efficiency to the market and treasury is core to achieving that.”
McGlawn explained that he leans on his past experience when approaching his responsibility of crypto clearing services.
“I think the key to managing the novel aspects of crypto is to let experience influence your guiding principles to the approach, but not dictate the solution,” he said. “Also, breaking down the fundamentals of clearing provides the opportunity to iterate on unique solutions to improve and build upon the process and platform.”
ErisX, a U.S. based futures exchange and clearinghouse, is building upon traditional and familiar building blocks to provide access to crypto without sacrificing security, transparency or the benefit of market oversight. ErisX’s spot market supports Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ether and Litecoin. ErisX also offers physically delivered futures and cash settled Bounded Futures on Bitcoin and Ether. If you are interested in learning more, please visit www.erisx.com.