From London to New York, the big banks and investment firms are finally waking up to the world of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. Major foreign exchanges and Wall Street banks are moving into the digital space. Some have already launched cryptocurrency trading desks, whilst others are in the process of doing so.
Wall Street Goes Crypto
All the big Wall Street banks will soon be trading in cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology projects. Goldman Sachs was the first bank to recently open a trading desk that would allow their clients to trade in Bitcoin. Although Goldman Sachs’ move into the cryptocurrency space is still in the early stages, it is a sign that other major Wall Street banks will inevitably follow suit.
One of these major Wall Street banks is J. P. Morgan. Amber Baldet, who used to head J.P. Morgan’s blockchain division until she left in April, provided a lot of insight in an interview with CNBC. Baldet was an integral member of the team that created J. P. Morgan’s legacy blockchain project Quorum. This project, however, will be giving way to Baldet’s new venture, which is called Clovyr.
A Google for DApps
Clovyr is essentially an app store for blockchain DApps. However, Baldet aims for the project to become much more than that. In addition to functioning as a search engine for blockchain applications, it will also be a space where developers can contribute with innovations of their own. She said:
There’s no way to discover what’s out there right now; there’s no Google for finding applications. The ability to discover apps is helpful, but the ability to build them is also encompassed in there.
With all these new exciting developments in the Wall Street and start-up spaces, it is inevitable that the underground world of cryptocurrencies will become part of the mainstream world of banking sooner rather than later.
Meanwhile in London
On the other side of the Atlantic, similar moves are being made in the banking sector. LMAX Exchange, which is a British foreign exchange venue, is creating a new exchange that will focus specifically on cryptocurrency. This new exchange, which is called LMAX Digital, will operate 24/7 and allow users to trade in the most popular kinds of cryptocurrencies, such as Ether, Bitcoin, and Bitcoin Cash.
The head of LMAX Exchange is David Mercer, and he said the following regarding LMAX Digital:
We are furthering the legitimisation of the crypto currency market by offering institutions a platform on which to acquire, trade and hold crypto currencies securely with high quality, deep liquidity.
Mercer also expressed that whilst the exchange will focus on the UK market, to begin with, the plan is to expand to New York and Tokyo once the pace picks up. This launch follows the moves by Goldman Sachs and J. P. Morgan described earlier, but these new launches are far from being the only ones. Cryptocurrency hedge funds are the new black, so to speak, and almost 170 of them have launched in 2017 alone.
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