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New York Stock Exchange reportedly working on bitcoin trading platform

Posted: 8 May 2018 5:46 pm
Wall Street - FI

Another Wall Street behemoth is moving towards cryptocurrency, as much as is so far possible.

Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange, is working on a bitcoin trading platform, reports the New York Times. The platform would reportedly be an OTC cryptocurrency desk for bitcoin only, letting well-heeled ICE clients simply buy and hold bitcoin through it.

This is part of a dramatic and ongoing shift towards cryptocurrency from Wall Street, and such a move wouldn't be unprecedented. However, it's still early days and could still fall apart, the NYT cautions. The main obstacle might be continued reluctance for the institution to get involved in the wild west of cryptocurrency.

Others are less hesitant. Nasdaq CEO Adena Friedman has spoken readily about her willingness to get Nasdaq involved in the space when the time is right. The two main obstacles to further institutional involvement, and likely the main roadblocks for ICE, are regulatory barriers and cybersecurity issues.

It's possible that ICE would be missing out on considerable profits while it waits. Despite drops in the retail market, business at OTC exchanges – designed to let high net worth individuals buy and sell cryptocurrency without running into price slippage – is booming.

And the longer it waits, the more competitive the space will get. Coinbase has recently opened its own block trading counter, while Circle has doubled its minimum order size to half a million dollars in the face of overwhelming demand.

Goldman Sachs is also dipping into bitcoin in the face of high client demand, although it's just offering a range of bitcoin price-linked products so far rather than actually buying and selling the coins. However, Goldman Sachs executives have said that they're working towards buying and selling bitcoin as well.

"ICE was considering launching a swap contract linked to Ether, but backed away from that because of regulatory uncertainty," the NYT says.

Disclosure: At the time of writing the author holds ETH, IOTA, ICX, VEN, XLM, BTC, NANO

Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of cryptocurrency or any specific provider, service or offering. It is not a recommendation to trade. Cryptocurrencies are speculative, complex and involve significant risks – they are highly volatile and sensitive to secondary activity. Performance is unpredictable and past performance is no guarantee of future performance. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before relying on this information. You should also verify the nature of any product or service (including its legal status and relevant regulatory requirements) and consult the relevant Regulators' websites before making any decision. Finder, or the author, may have holdings in the cryptocurrencies discussed.

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