Industry Analyst Larry Tabb Discusses Cryptocurrencies, AI, and Market Dynamics at FIA Futures Conference

Apr 9, 2024

John Lothian

John Lothian

Executive Chairman and CEO

At the FIA International Futures Industry Conference in Boca Raton, FL, John Lothian News conducted an  interview with Larry Tabb of Bloomberg Intelligence as part of the JLN Industry Leader video series sponsored by Wedbush. Tabb, known for his expertise in industry and market analysis, shared  his insights into cryptocurrencies, artificial intelligence, equity options growth and increased demand for U.S. equities during non-traditional market hours. 

Tabb said significant investments are being made into artificial intelligence (AI), noting that companies excelling in providing AI infrastructure are likely to thrive. “The folks that are going to survive and prosper are the guys who make the shovels and the wheelbarrows,” he said.

He also discussed the impact of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s approval of Bitcoin ETFs on the digital assets market structure, emphasizing the “massive influx of cash into Bitcoin investors who don’t necessarily want to have a crypto wallet” and how “it’s just opening people’s eyes to the opportunities in digital assets,” he said.

Tabb expressed concerns about the regulatory challenges in the digital assets space, pointing out discrepancies between traditional financial securities and digital platforms, which could lead to issues like fraud. He touched upon the ongoing debates in Washington regarding the regulation of digital assets and the struggle to reach consensus. “I’m not sure that we have consensus on the hill,” he said.

Tabb explained the transformative effects of AI on investment practices, foreseeing its increasing integration into decision-making processes. He discussed the potential for AI to streamline data analysis and enhance investment strategies, while also acknowledging the role of human judgment in the evolving landscape. He saw a role for AI in summarizing analysts’ reports to look for consistencies that could be trigger points for investments. 

Tabb noted recent stabilization in options markets and discussed the factors driving growth, such as shortened expiration periods and how those trends could expand into the physical securities markets with equities and other products. 

He also addressed the issue of increased trading during nontraditional hours, particularly in Asian markets. Tabb said the success of Blue Ocean, which had a 2.5% market share in December, has encouraged other players like 24X to get involved. “That is driving the market makers to take interest and that will make the market a bit more efficient with more volume,” he said.

Tabb does not expect any exchange consolidation in the U.S. equity markets this year unless the SEC changes the fee access rules. He suggested that lower access fees mandated by the SEC, after a couple of years of litigation, could lead to the decreased need for multiple exchanges.


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