Clearpool Announces New Borrower — Portofino

Published in
4 min readMar 9


Clearpool is pleased to announce the launch of a new borrowing pool on its permissionless DeFi protocol. The pool, launched by global market maker Portofino Technologies, will be available on the Ethereum marketplace.

For the benefit of the Clearpool community, we interviewed the Portofino team. Read on to learn more.

Tell us about Portofino and its history.

Portofino is a high-frequency trading (HFT) market maker for digital assets. Our differentiating factor is our tech which allows us to provide superior liquidity on the largest centralized and decentralized cryptocurrency exchanges.

Since its establishment in April 2021, Portofino has traded billions of dollars across centralized, decentralized and OTC cryptocurrency markets. Portofino’s vision is to scale its proprietary liquidity provisioning technology across the full crypto infrastructure value chain.

Portofino is founded by Leonard Lancia and Alex Casimo, two former leaders at Citadel Securities in Europe, backed by Valar, Global Founders Capital and Coatue, and has a team of 35+ HFT specialists (and growing) across Zug, London, Amsterdam.

What is Portofino’s trading strategy?

Portofino deploys market-neutral HFT market making strategies. Portofino strategies are fully systematic, which entirely eliminates discretionary trading decision-making processes.

Portofino’s competitive advantage is its superior proprietary technology that leverages advanced machine learning and stochastic control techniques to provide its clients and partners with the best pricing in the market.

Why does Portofino want to borrow capital right now?

We borrow capital solely to fund our trading capital. Borrowing via partners like Clearpool allows us to scale our trading operations in a more efficient way. This is particularly important during the current unsettled market conditions when the need for market makers to provide liquidity to the market is greater than ever.

Why is Portofino interested in borrowing from Clearpool’s protocol compared to other options?

Being a crypto native firm, we believe deeply in the idea of transparency and decentralization — the core pillars of the Clearpool lending model. Furthermore, we think Clearpool’s differentiated product will continue to attract lenders to its platform. We are very excited to be part of the story.

What size does Portofino typically borrow and seek to borrow on Clearpool?

Portofino works with a range of lending counterparties and we manage our borrowing portfolio on an aggregate basis to make sure we are not overleveraged. The size of each individual loan can range from $500k to >$10MM. We look forward to building long-term relationships with our Clearpool lenders and growing our pool over time.

Why should our community lend to Portofino Technologies?

Portofino aims to become the best and most professional liquidity provider in the digital assets space. With founders and a management team that worked at the forefront of the modernization of TradFi markets, we believe that our liquidity provisioning infrastructure can deliver enormous benefits to digital asset participants globally, and help drive the next leg of adoption.

Portofino is backed by leading global VC investors (Valar Ventures, Global Founders Capital, Coatue). We have been resilient to the recent crypto market headwinds and have always honored our obligations with lenders and all counterparties.

What are some of the risk management strategies in place to ensure lenders’ funds are not misused?

Portofino implements strict and detailed risk management policies to ensure proper use of our capital, including lenders’ funds. Given our business model, the main relevant risks we are exposed to are:

- Market Risk: Portofino’s trading system systematically manages our market risk and is constantly adjusting our trading parameters to achieve market-neutrality. Furthermore, we have an experienced Quantitative Trading team, led by Taym Moustapha (ex Head of Trading for European Equities at Citadel Securities) that ensures our systems are operating as intended.

- Counterparty Risk: We maintain a counterparty risk scoring system which determines our max risk positions by counterparty; we actively monitor all of our counterparties on a continuous basis and update the risk scoring as required

- Operational Risk: We employ best practices from TradFi across our trading operations including exhaustive unit test coverage, a large number of pre- and post-trade controls and aggressive incident review processes. In our treasury operations, we have a robust governance process in place which uses dual-sig, wallet whitelisting and max thresholds for transfers by person / function.

Where do you see Portofino one year from now?

Despite the recent and short-term crypto markets headwinds, Portofino remains extremely positive on the long-term potential of the digital assets industry and strongly believes that its market-leading tech platform will help facilitate the next leg of adoption in this market.

In one year from now, we expect our volumes to have grown exponentially and our franchise to be established among both institutional investors as well as digital assets projects and startups, which will see Portofino as a trusted and valuable partner.

However, this will only be the start for Portofino. In web3, every action is a transaction and we’re building the underlying technology that is going to enable entirely new services and industries in the future.

How will you use the funds that are borrowed via Clearpool?

The funds borrowed via Clearpool will be used as trading capital, thus deployed on centralized exchanges via our internally-developed algorithmic trading strategies.

Are there any media you would like to share with our community?

The keynote talk at CV Summit 2022:

Media coverage:

Bloomberg | The Block | BusinessWire | Cointelegraph

How can Poolsiders’ community keep up to date with Portofino?

You can follow us on LinkedIn.

Portofino’s Borrower Rating & Capacity — Provided by Credora

Credora’s privacy-preserving, data-driven credit evaluations provide a credit score and calculate borrow capacity.

At the time of writing, Portofino has a Borrower Rating of ‘A’ and a total Borrow Capacity of US$24.3M.

To learn more about Borrow Capacity and the Credora Credit Evaluation Methodology, click here.

Want to lend to Portofino?

Click here to visit their pool on the Clearpool app.