At the end of 2017, signs that Bitcoin was making the jump from a currency used and held only by technology and decentralization enthusiasts to a mainstream asset started to hit the press.
The launch of Bitcoin futures on two of the major futures exchanges served up an opportunity for traders and investors that wanted to take a position in the cryptocurrency without having to buy and store bitcoins to do just that and, perhaps unsurprisingly, the Bitcoin price (what’s grown to become a bellwether of industry health) soared.
During early 2017, and especially over the last week or so, the bitcoin price has taken a hit and – with it – sentiment has weakened.
This doesn’t mean the fundamental developments have stopped, however.
As per this report in The Wall Street Journal on Thursday, the owner of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is launching a bitcoin data feed that it intends to offer to financial firms across the globe, with the goal being to offer the latter the latest and most accurate information on volume, pricing, exchange activity, etc.
ICE data feed on #cryptocurrency planned. High frequency trading and investment firms have shown their interest no doubt. https://t.co/5sge8WuY6j via @WSJ
— CaptTrader (@CaptTrader) January 18, 2018
What Is ICE?
Intercontinental Exchange Inc (NYSE: ICE), the company behind the efforts, owns exchanges for financial and commodity markets and operates 23 regulated exchanges and marketplaces globally (of which the NYSE is one) and is perhaps the best positioned entity in the world to develop and, in turn, to resell, this sort of data aggregation technology and service. The clients that will be buying the service from ICE almost certainly already have a relationship with the company, meaning once it’s in place, rollout should be relatively straightforward.
Implications For Bitcoin
So what does this mean for the Bitcoin space? While the implications aren’t game changing right off the bat, the long-term impact of a reliable and easy-access data stream for financial institutions potentially is. With said access, these institutions are much more likely to adopt bitcoin as a portfolio asset or as another type of holding, depending on the nature of the institutions in question, which should improve access and increase demand for the asset going forward.
Increased demand, of course, should, in turn, translate to a boost in price.
Lynn Martin, president of ICE Data Services, had this to say as justification for the move:
We’re receiving a lot of requests for information for anything that would provide transparency into this market.
ICE will reportedly work with San Francisco based Blockstream to implement the solution.
What do you think the potential impact of a data feed like this is? Will it translate to increased confidence in the space? Let us know below!
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons