Bitcoin has had a rocky relationship with Wall Street since the leading cryptocurrency first came to prominence. For each entity that has either publicly or privately seen Bitcoin as a commodity for good, there have been countless analysts, so-called experts, and financial heavyweights that have battled against the rise of the cryptocurrency market.
Coming in off the fringes
Considering that Bitcoin has been consigned to the fringes of the financial sector for so long, many were questioning whether it would ever truly be able to breach Wall Street. Given recent developments, it’s clear that major moves are currently being made. News coming out of various Wall Street power players – including the New York Stock Exchange’s parent company – is that Bitcoin is now on the agenda.
We recently discussed Goldman Sachs’ plans to go live with its own Bitcoin trading operation. This will mark the very first time that a leading Wall Street bank has moved in such a Bitcoin positive direction. Adding to Goldman Sachs’ pro-Bitcoin move, the New York Stock Exchange’s parent company Intercontinental Exchange has been working on its own trading platform according to recent rumors and reports. Details are currently pretty scarce on what the service will look like, however confidential documents uncovered by The New York Times did reveal a few small pieces of information. The platform will supposedly target large investors – at least at launch – with it allowing them to buy and hold BTC.
The mainstream crossover continues
Bitcoin has been crossing over into the mainstream across various industries for some time, with this now happening in the once extremely resistant banking sector. ICE and Goldman Sachs are leading the charge, but these firms certainly won’t be the last names to crossover into the cryptocurrency market. Given recent news and wide-scale interest, the world could be about to see a new chapter in Bitcoin’s impressive history.
While Bitcoin as a straight cryptocurrency is finally commanding attention, the interest in the technology it gave birth to has actually been of note for some time. Blockchain has become the buzz-term of 2018, as the database technology has been widely adopted and explored. Several larger exchanges – including Chicago Mercantile Exchange – have already worked to create financial products directly linked to Bitcoin’s values. Futures have really been a huge success for the CME, with it actually creating an example for other exchanges to follow. ICE is hoping to take Bitcoin one step further in many ways, offering more direct market access, as tokens will actually be credited to a customer’s account following a trade. According to rumor, ICE initially had plans to do something similar for Ethereum, but eventually backed away from plans due to regulatory issues.
A jump into the unknown
ICE is taking a leap of faith by standing by Bitcoin to this extent, however, the deal still has the potential to fall apart. Several Wall Street firms are showing hesitancy towards Bitcoin, as the “Wild West” tag is proving difficult to shake. That being said, it should be of benefit to ICE to hear that Nasdaq’s current Chief Executive Adena Friedman said that should regulatory issues become clearer, they would also look at potential digital-currency exchange plans. Add that to several hedge funds that have actively started buying and selling BTC, it’s clear that there has been a change in tone when it comes to Bitcoin discussions in the banking sector.
There is still resistance facing Bitcoin from within the financial sector – just look at the recent comments made by the always controversial Warren Buffett. But, the amount of people carrying those views is slowly coming down in number. Many large corporate names, including Uber and Spirit owner SoftBank, have had positive discussions with exchanges, as more firms look to become accepting of Bitcoin and its potential.
Bitcoin reaches another mainstream milestone
The level of interest in Bitcoin trading has reached a point where it can no longer be ignored by large banking firms. After several up and down years, the reputation of the world’s leading digital currency is nearing an all-time high. With ICE having big pro-Bitcoin plans ahead, if such plans do materialize Bitcoin could soon become tradable across a larger and much more influential investor base.