The crypto markets endless search for the legitimacy of the mainstream financial institution is never-ending. While some crypto puritans believe that nothing short of complete separation between cryptocurrency and the traditional marketplace for financial service is needed, others disagree. These especially include those who are light on ideology and heavy on the need to generate a profit through investment or trading.
For them, there is some unexpected good news coming from a famous Caribbean country. Recently, the Jamaican Stock Exchange revealed that it will begin to offer cryptocurrencies to their clients as tradable assets. The news is interesting because it provides a rare moment when the crypto domain and the traditional finance meet in a single market.
To the community of developers, investors and traders, this could be very good news. The same goes for Jamaica itself, even though the decision could come with some complications, especially regarding other nations and the actual form in which this trading will take place. But, in spite of all of that, the news is definitely one of the biggest in this domain since the start of 2018.
The Jamaica Stock Exchange and Blockstation Startup
The stock exchange of the country has partnered up with the Blocctation startup for the purpose of making a crypto exchange. The two organizations signed a MoU or a memorandum of understanding which states that the development company will provide the exchange with custom-built digital assets. These will then become tradable elements present on the exchange, just like anything else listed there. The Jamaica Stock Exchange believes that the platform upgrade is set to be launched by the end of the year.
Marlene Street Forrest, the managing director of exchange stated that offering cryptocurrencies in the form of the investment products comply with bonds, equities and other investment options already on offer. According to Forrest, the end game is to trade tokens, smart contracts and do so in a safe and secure manner.
Utilizing Technology in the Process
Clearly, from the perspective of the Jamaica Stock Exchange, the problem of getting cryptocurrency into trading is more technical than legislative. Forrest stated that Blockstation is there to help with the tech issue, while the exchange’s infrastructure will be connected to the new platform. This will allow the qualified investors to make trades and purchases.
She also said that the listings of cryptocurrencies will allow the exchange to examine the blockchain tech as a practical application. This could provide a huge benefit not just for the exchange but to their clients as well.
In fact, Forrest even hinted at the possibility of the exchange issuing its own cryptocurrency token at some point in the future. As the environment changes and the whole ecosystem changes as well, something like this might not just be a benefit, but a full-on necessity.
Jai Waterman, the co-founder of Blockstation, who is also the chief enterprise architect, stated that working with the exchange began six months ago. The aim at this phase was to provide the exchange with the startup’s customized version of the platform.
The exchange asked for specific methods of data access and manipulation, which included the tracking of market changes, as well as regulatory needs. According to Waterman, the startup mission was to provide the exchange with a secure means of trading cryptocurrencies, most likely bitcoin but also other big digital currencies. These trades should occur on the relation between the stock exchange and the broker-dealers.
Yet, both companies underlined that the exchange was in no rush and that it is taking its time with its investors. Here, the highest priority is to make sure that everything works in a secure manner. This also includes making sure that their staff is fully trained and prepared for this phase of business transactions. Because of this necessity, Forrest said that the transition to the full integration of the blockchain tech will come along in a gradual manner.
The Jamaican Angle
The idea that all of this is happening in the country like Jamaica is particularly interesting. For most in the world, including those who cover the matters of finance and economics, the name of the Jamaican Stock Exchange is probably not a household one. But, the decision like this placed it in the headlines of all crypto media outlets and the actual launch will do the same for mainstream media as well.
This is a true social capital that will suddenly make it the most relevant exchange in the region. No one is saying that the same was planned by the exchange, but using the benefits of this will surely be on the radar of the company. This application of promotional techniques that are more in line with things like music ventures, eSports or other modern consumer products is definitely a smart move.
The news is further enhanced by the fact that it comes from a very colorful country like Jamaica. It already possesses a strong brand recognizability in the world and this will only shine a new light on it. The actual scope of the exchange’s commitment and the impact it will have on the crypto trading will almost certainly remain small. Yet, this does not provide the local angle with any difficulties – for them, this is still a major move forward and opening up to new possibilities.
The Wider Impact
2018 is clearly a year when news like this are becoming more frequent. The recent example of a New York bank that is happy to do business with crypto ventures showcases the same trend. However, their wider impact is definitely on the local level and not able to do anything for the big market fluctuations.
The news about the Jamaican Stock Exchange comes in the midst of the biggest sell-off in recent months that is hitting all of the big and medium cryptocurrencies. In that regard, this news is nothing more than an easily ignored curiosity. There is no doubt that these developments are useful for the crypto community and its gradual expansion into the mainstream, but on the front of direct impact, they are almost invisible.