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NYSE Mulls Launching a Crypto Platform

Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), is reportedly working on an online cryptocurrency exchange aimed at large investors.

“The parent company of the New York Stock Exchange has been working on an online trading platform that would allow large investors to buy and hold Bitcoin,” reports The New York Times, citing emails and documents viewed by the paper as well as four people with knowledge of the matter.

ICE representatives did not comment on the matter to the Times. If it moves forward with the plan, NYSE would be the latest major exchange operator to dip its toes into crypto waters. In December, Cboe and CME launched bitcoin futures.

NYSE rival Nasdaq has previously said it is considering bitcoin futures of its own, though in different fashion to what Cboe and CME offer.

Nasdaq Inc., one of the world’s largest operators of equity exchanges, said it would consider launching a cryptocurrency exchange in the future if the regulatory environment is conducive to such a move.

Wall Street Warms To Crypto

Some big names on Wall Street are embracing digital assets. For example, Goldman Sachs recently made its first cryptocurrency hire and said it plans to use its own capital to trade bitcoin futures for clients.

“The moves by Goldman and Intercontinental Exchange, or ICE, the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange, mark a dramatic shift toward the mainstream for a digital token that has been known primarily for its underworld associations and status as a high-risk, speculative investment,” according to the Times.

The Times article also indicates ICE could make bitcoin-backed swaps available to institutional clients, including large banks. Swaps are derivatives in which two parties exchange financial instruments and are commonly used by professional investors in fixed income markets.

“ICE has had conversations with other financial institutions about setting up a new operation through which banks can buy a contract, known as a swap, that will end with the customer owning Bitcoin the next day — with the backing and security of the exchange, according to the people familiar with the project,” reports The Times.

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