Why NYSE’s Parent Company Is Building a Bitcoin Exchange

May 8, 2018, 3:03 PM UTC

Looks like the New York Stock Exchange wants to be ahead of the pack.

The owner of the NYSE has been building an online trading platform to allow its institutional investors to buy and hold Bitcoin, according to The New York Times.

Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), the parent company of NYSE, reportedly plans to offer traders a swap contract that will allow customers to get their hands on Bitcoin the following day — along with the backing and stamp of approval of the exchange. This type of contract brings further legitimacy to the transaction because it puts the trading under the oversight and regulation of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

More broadly, this move signifies a greater acceptance on Wall Street. It turns out that some of the financial power brokers are demanding access to Bitcoin, a digital currency that has remained divisive for years. It was only several months ago that Bitcoin billionaire Cameron Winklevoss told CNBC that “[Bitcoin] is a multitrillion-dollar asset – I don’t know how long it takes to get there,” while UBS’s Paul Donovan argued Bitcoin is simply a bubble that should be ignored. Oh, if only it were that easy.

As Term Sheet noted at the time, it’s almost impossible to put the genie back in the bottle once institutional money begins to pour in. And the floodgates are open. Just several days ago, Goldman Sachs announced plans to open a Bitcoin trading operation and Nasdaq recently said it would “consider becoming a crypto exchange over time.”