Financial entities have shown an increased interest in blockchain technology and cryptocurrency. It now appears there are multiple efforts underway which have been kept in the dark for some time. The owner of the New York Stock Exchange, for example, has been working on a Bitcoin exchange. That is a pretty interesting development which could impact the cryptocurrency industry in a positive manner.
It is always interesting to see how financial firms look at Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Over the past few years, it has become evident that there is a lot of bias toward this new form of money. As such, big exchanges have kept tabs on Bitcoin but never made any proper plans to embrace this technology or do anything with it. That is how it appeared on the surface, anyway, as the owner of the New York Stock Exchange apparently has very different ideas.
For those who don’t know, the New York Stock Exchange is a subsidiary of Intercontinental Exchange. A few weeks ago, it became apparent the latter company had an interest in cryptocurrency, although its exact plans were kept under tight wraps, for obvious reasons. New information came to the surface earlier this week confirming that ICE is building an online platform which will allow people to buy cryptocurrencies. It will include support for Bitcoin as well as other undisclosed cryptocurrencies.
With this major financial entity paying attention to the cryptocurrency industry (and not in a bad way), an interesting situation has been created. It is not the first Wall Street firm to be going deep into the Bitcoin waters, but this may be the biggest project to date. While many financial experts may still oppose cryptocurrency, it is evident that Wall Street firms are prepared to enter this market and hit the ground running.
It is not the first venture of ICE in the cryptocurrency industry either. The firm introduced a cryptocurrency data feed earlier this year, which allows investors to keep tabs on the price of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other currencies. With other banks and financial service providers attempting to launch Bitcoin trading desk-like services in the future, the competition is heating up rather quickly.
For the time being, it remains a bit unclear if and when ICE plans to launch this cryptocurrency trading platform. There is no indication as to how much of the work has been done already and whether or not the launch is imminent. It is still a “potential project” at this stage, albeit one that would allow institutional investors to buy vast amounts of cryptocurrency without friction. It is possible the platform will also offer swaps linked to Bitcoin, although that has not been officially confirmed.
The cryptocurrency industry is certainly headed in an interesting direction as of right now. There are futures contracts, trading desks, dark pools, OTC trading, and – hopefully soon – a proper trading platform for institutional investors. All of these developments will have a positive impact on the industry sooner or later, although it remains to be seen if they will affect the Bitcoin price at all. One cannot deny that financial firms are interested in cryptocurrency, even though their impact may be minimal at the end of the day.