The Signs Are Clear: Wall Street is Officially Giving Bitcoin Trading a Shot
For nearly a decade, Wall Street’s opinion of bitcoin has varied from general indifference to outright condemnation. But now, many bigwigs in the U.S. financial sector are introducing bitcoin initiatives, a clear sign they recognize the cryptocurrency as a player worthy of attention in the game of global finance.
Recently, the New York Times reported that Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) is working on an online trading platform that would enable big investors to purchase and hold bitcoin. ICE is the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange, the world’s largest stock exchange by market capitalization, so the move could give bitcoin more credibility in the mainstream finance world.
The NYT claims to have seen emails and documents on ICE’s suggested platform and states that four people have been briefed on the endeavour.
An ICE spokesperson did not provide comment to the NYT, so it’s possible the project won’t come to fruition but, ICE Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Sprecher did say to Bloomberg Television in April that he couldn’t deny that ICE might provide digital currency contracts in the future.
At the time he stated that there is a trend that they can’t ignore, so he doesn’t discount it. This could perhaps have been foreshadowing to ICE’s bitcoin platform.
In addition to ICE Goldman Sachs, one of the world’s largest financial services firms, confirmed that it is also opening its own trading unit for bitcoin. Details on that project are still scarce, but unlike the ICE announcement, this one’s actually confirmed. The signs are clear: Wall Street is officially giving bitcoin trading a shot.
Paul Chou, the founder of cryptocurrency exchange LedgerX, told the NYT that the industry is seeing unprecedented institutional interest for the first time in bitcoin’s history. He’s been amazed that the strongest believers in cryptocurrency often start out the most skeptical but it’s a healthy skepticism. However, at some point the perception shifts, and for many institutions, Chou says we’re finally there.
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