Anchorage Digital
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Anchorage Digital

Eight Questions: Yuriy V. Anosov, Head of Trading, Anchorage

Welcome to Eight Questions, where we profile individual members of the Anchorage Digital team, diving into their career paths, what brought them to crypto, and what makes them tick. Why eight? Because it’s the number of decimal places a bitcoin can be divided into. It’s also the last single digit number in a Fibonacci Sequence, and we like that.

Leslie Ankney

Next in our series, meet Yuriy V. Anosov, who joined Anchorage in 2019 to lead our trading operations. Prior to Anchorage, Yuriy worked as a trader for Galois Capital, a quantitative digital assets fund, and spent 10 years at Goldman Sachs Asset Management, most recently as a trader on the Money Markets Portfolio Management team. Yuriy is also a veteran, serving six years in the U.S. Air Force before joining Goldman Sachs, and is a CFA charterholder and an MBA from INSEAD. Yuriy lives in South Carolina with his family.

  1. Hot takes: Give us your 30-second take for each of these trading day scenarios. What’s it like at Anchorage?
  • A typical day: Wake up to the handover from the time zone before and make sure the books are in order. Volumes come in and you make executions efficiently. Create strategies for executing large volumes. At the end of the day, settle up with all counterparties and handoff to team members in other time zones to resume since it’s a 24-hour market.
  • A massive downturn: Like any asset, Bitcoin is subject to market forces and can be volatile. Days with a massive downturn can be incredibly stressful. Every time you think you’re ready for it, no matter how many times you go through one of these, you find new problems to solve with your team on a live basis. There’s always a lot of learning to find ways to make the system more antifragile. What’s interesting is, even in those down days, clients are always in communication with the desk and aware of their collateralization levels.
  • An all-time-high: Total exuberance. You open Twitter and watch everyone call out new highs, $50K, $60K, etc. It feels awesome and all problems are forgotten. Every client is having the best day.

2. Coming from money management and crypto derivatives trading at a fund, what is especially interesting about trading at a growing institutional crypto platform?

It’s been interesting creating everything from scratch. When you join a more established fund, you take the “plumbing”, so to speak, or how everything in your trading services work together as a product for granted. At Anchorage, I got a unique opportunity to be part of building it all together. You have to understand the compliance, operational, and legal foundations of the business — to do what we’ve done, and all of these components are something a trader at a large traditional firm wouldn’t see.

3. What’s different about the trading desk experience at Anchorage for your teammates in brokerage? For clients?

There are big differences between Anchorage and a traditional trading desk. Many of our trading desk team members are new to crypto; most come from traditional finance and have a lot to learn. For example, margin and collateral monitoring happen on a 24/7, second by second basis. That would never happen in the world of traditional finance, where you might have a full business day to accommodate a top-up request and set updated collateralization levels.

In the fast-paced world of crypto, you might have a margin call at 3 a.m. on Christmas. Liquidations are also more efficient in crypto, an improvement over many asset classes in the traditional space. There’s a learning curve, but it’s one that makes the job exciting, because you realize you’re working with and helping develop a novel, and more efficient market structure. Another big benefit for our traders is that, because it’s a new desk, they get to do so many more things outside of pure trading like collaborating with other teams to help build the business. They’re not just a cog in the wheel.

The 24/7 pace of crypto is also an adjustment for clients. I wrote an article in 2019 that is still relevant today about the inefficiencies of having traditional market hours and how 24/7/365 open markets can reduce volatility and remove rent seeking incentives. When we onboard new clients, we spend a lot of time helping them understand the advantages of a crypto desk and the different ways that they can communicate with us. Anchorage invests resources to ensure we’re building out this desk and scaling properly to best serve our clients. We spend a lot of time being attentive to our customers’ needs.

4. You discovered an interest in the stock market and wanted to learn how a trading desk works, beginning with the CFA exams and a move to NYC while at Goldman. How has your understanding of markets changed since?

Crypto has completely opened my eyes to the real nature of the economy, incentive structures within banks, governments, and more. You see the whole macro picture through Bitcoin. You get a deep understanding of how access to liquidity can be so much more efficient through DeFi. I constantly think about how an immutable and transparent ledger that is secured by a decentralized network can change finance and how humans transfer value.

In crypto, the market has a habit of constantly reminding you that you really don’t know anything, and you actually become a better trader because of it. The speed of the development in the space is something that may make sense one day, but may end up being completely wrong a month later. Another unique aspect of crypto are the on-chain analytics through blockchain data on real transactions and balances. It is a whole window into the markets that exists on a much more limited scale in traditional finance.

5. As a former member of the Air Force, how does military training and thinking inform or influence your leadership style?

One of the main things I was taught was the concept of accountability. If someone delegates a task, there’s no such thing as not completing the task. It also teaches you to communicate well and not to complain. If you complain in the military, it typically falls on deaf ears with your peers, but if a superior hears the complaining, your suffering will be made greater, so you learn to keep it to a minimum.

There’s also a lot of leading by example. Leaders don’t just sit idly by, everyone does the tasks together. Subordinates have to know you’d do everything yourself that is asked of them.

6. You’re a voracious consumer of news and data, what are your go to spots for market information?

For crypto, obviously Twitter is just amazing as long as you know how to filter it. Filtering your Twitter cuts through the noise and makes it the most efficient way to stay informed. The first step is to find someone in the industry who can give you a list of whom to follow as a starting point, and from there you’ll naturally figure out how to adjust for information that provides you the most value.

For people crossing over from traditional finance, absolutely watch Real Vision for the long form interviews. Then there are reports from notable crypto funds like Pantera, Multicoin, or Arca–, when these come out, I try to make sure to read them. And, if you’re in the space and actively trading, always read daily notes from your brokers to see what visibility they have into their flows.

For traditional markets, I swear by the Bear Traps Report by Larry McDonald, who wrote The Colossal Failure of Common Sense.

7. Every trader on your team seems to find a great deal of inspiration, and even energy from you. How do you challenge yourself and your team to keep growing and stay energetic?

No matter how skillfully someone performs, they can always be better. I take accountability and admit when I could have done better, and always make sure my team calls out their own mistakes and learns from them, too. I also always make sure my team is always scratching their curiosity itch, they can’t just be doing the routine job.

Our weekly Monday morning global trading meeting includes time for a member of the team to present a unique area of the market that is not part of the regular day to day flow of the desk.

8. What is a key lesson you learned in your career that still guides your day to day at Anchorage?

You don’t have to have perfect plans. You just need a direction that makes sense and alignment from your peers and leadership. Overplanning and perfection on paper will just create frustration and extra challenges. Anchorage has taught me to start moving toward development and testing sooner rather than trying to perfect the planning stages and delaying to start.

Another key lesson I learned from a colleague at Goldman is to always have an opinion on any topic. To at least learn why you’re wrong or see if people agree with you. Rather than being too scared to say something, you start to realize you understand things better than you thought you did. Another advantage is that you get feedback on your thoughts, and you become more informed on whether or not your thought process was as good as you thought. It creates a feedback loop that can make you feel more confident and shape or change your approach based on what you learn.

Interested in working with Yuriy and the Anchorage team? Anchorage is hiring for a variety of roles, check our job opportunities here.

Disclaimer: Holdings of cryptocurrencies and other digital assets are speculative and involve a substantial degree of risk, including the risk of complete loss. There can be no assurance that any cryptocurrency, token, coin, or other crypto asset will be viable, liquid, or solvent. Nothing in this communication is intended to imply that any asset held in custody by Anchorage is low-risk or risk-free. Digital assets held in custody are not guaranteed by Anchorage Digital Bank National Association and are not FDIC-insured.

Advancing institutional participation in the digital asset class.

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Anchorage Digital

Anchorage Digital

Advancing institutional participation in the digital asset class.

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