By Jenny Lynton
Crypto is gradually ‘starting to enter the mainstream financial services industry’ stated Neill Penney from Thomson Reuters recently. Although cryptocurrencies are ‘still a relatively small part of the trading market’, Penney noted that ‘this is a major change from a year ago.’
In fact, from London to New York, there are signs crypto is slowly edging its way into the mainstream world of banking. Although the industry has been swamped by a string of scandals this year, there are also numerous exchanges which have gained regulatory approval, which is another step forward for the industry. So, let’s take a closer look now.
itBit Crypto exchange licensed by NYDFS
US-based cryptocurrency exchange itBit dominated the news this week for becoming the first regulated exchange to be licensed by the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS). Amidst the surge of scams and de-listings, calls to regulate the industry have been a fierce subject of debate lately. So, the decision by New York to approve the financial services of the third-largest US exchange itBit is a pivotal step for crypto. Charles Cascarilla, CEO and co-founder of itBit has said ‘this is an important milestone as we create a broader platform for crypto asset investors.’
itBit is the third largest exchange in the US and the seal of approval by NYDFS will also give itBit some competitive edge over its rivals, namely Coinbase and Kraken. While the approval was significant for the industry, itBit has also provided some fresh momentum by adding some new altcoins to its platform. So far the exchange has added Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and Lumens. Paxos CEO Charles Cascarilla says the exchange is also expanding its list of trading services and is ‘starting to gain a lot of momentum here’.
ClearBank Integrates Cryptocurrency
They say the path to success rarely runs smoothly, but crypto been plagued by a series of obstacles while trying to gain the seal of approval from the banking industry. Nevertheless, British startup ClearBank gained some exposure this week for announcing a flagship venture with another UK-based crypto exchange, aptly named the London Block Exchange.
The story caused a stir for both the London Block Exchange and the wider industry. Initially many financial institutions were critical of crypto and investor confidence has not been eased by the ever-increasing number of scams and shutdowns. In turn this led many banks and institutions to be more cautious of the industry.
This deal provided another indication that the finance industry is gradually shifting its stance. The partnership will enable users to benefit from instant transactions and allow consumers to trade digital currencies overseas without moving fiat currencies.
NYSE to Launch a Trading Platform for Bitcoin
In another significant sign that the world of crypto and finance are colliding, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) just announced plans to launch a trading platform for Bitcoin. The news marks a historic step for the industry. It seems that despite the volatile market, scandals and debate over mapping the regulatory landscape, many established financial institutions are slowly jumping on the crypto-bandwagon.
Although there have been no clear details released about the launch, the announcement sent the market into overdrive. Apparently the contract will allow ‘trading to come under the regulation of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and to operate clearly under existing laws’, which is a big breakthrough for Bitcoin.
The news follows rumors that Goldman Sachs’s joining the crypto-rush and plans to launch a crypto trading desk. Meanwhile Morgan Stanley is also reportedly integrating crypto currency into its trading products. With numerous development on the horizon for crypto, we’ll have to watch this space to see how it affects the market. You can keep up with the latest developments using the Coinwatch Platform.