Artist's rendition of the Wall Street bull (which, by the way, isn't actually on Wall Street; via Pixabay)

Crypto market advancing in quest to enter mainstream financial markets

Plans by Fidelity, the CBOE, and B2C2 would bring entry to option and stock markets

Last week was a good one for people who want to see cryptocurrencies treated more like traditional equities and financial instruments.

Three companies, including the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) and financial services firm Fidelity Digital Assets, announced advances in their trading platforms.

Farthest ahead is cryptocurrency liquidity provider and over the counter (OTC) trader B2C2, which on Jan. 31 announced that it has won approval from the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority to deal in contracts for difference (CRD), which are basically a type of future that is traded directly with brokers, rather than on stock exchanges.

“We are excited to have received authorisation from the FCA to introduce a cryptocurrency CFD product,” said Max Boonen, Founder and CEO of B2C2. “Eligible counterparties and professional clients can now gain derivative exposure to the cryptocurrency markets, benefiting from the competitive pricing and liquidity they’re accustomed to receiving from B2C2 while avoiding the risks associated with crypto custody.”

On this side of the pond, the CBOE refiled the application it withdrew the previous week to create and list a Bitcoin exchange traded fund (ETF). The announcement via Twitter by VanEck Director of Digital Strategy Gabor Gurbacs of the VanEck SolidX Bitcoin ETF proposal is the latest attempt to bring this type of cryptocurrency security to market in the US. Gemini has tried twice and been turned down by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).  

Fidelity Digital Assets said on Jan. 31 that it was in the final testing stage of the cryptocurrency trading and custody platform it unveiled in October 2018. In the current Medium post, Fidelity Digital Assets wrote that the platform is “currently serving a select set of eligible clients.” The platform is aimed at large institutional investors like hedge funds, not the general public.

As Modern Consensus reported on Jan. 30, Fidelity is looking at a March launch of its custody service, which would services such as private key management, compliance, and defense against hackers.

Leo Jakobson, Modern Consensus senior editor, is a New York-based journalist who has traveled the world writing about meeting and incentive travel, as well as the consumer and employee loyalty business. He also covered the East Coast side of the Internet boom and bust, small businesses, and New York City crime, nightlife, and politics. Disclosure: Jakobson owns no cryptocurrencies.

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