State Street Aims to Start Cryptocurrency Trading in the Middle of 2021 - CoinDesk
coindesk -

State Street, the second-oldest bank in the U.S. with $3.1 trillion in assets under management, plans to commence trading cryptocurrency in the middle of this year, having taken part in the construction of a new bank-grade trading platform for digital assets.

Announced Thursday, State Street’s Currenex trading technology arm is working with London-based Pure Digital, infrastructure provider to the foreign exchange trading world, to create an institution-focused digital currency trading platform. 

Following further exploration of the digital asset space, Pure Digital and State Street expect to commence trading in cryptocurrency the middle of 2021, the companies said.

“Currenex is thrilled to leverage our experience and expertise in the FX and digital asset trading marketplace to provide Pure Digital with robust technology and infrastructure for this exciting digital currency trading initiative,” David Newns, Global Head of Execution Services for State Street Global Markets, said in a statement.

Institutions appear to be driving the current crypto bull run, a key difference from the retail-driven expansion of the space back in 2017. Big banks like BNY Mellon, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are now making moves, and eyes have been on State Street, as one of the biggest U.S. custody providers and trading operations, to see when/if it would move into crypto.

“The digital currency world needs to grow up and mature,” Campbell Adams, founder of Pure Digital said in an interview. “It needs large balance financial institutions involved in the manufacturing process of price. The primary market doesn’t really exist. There’s a lot of disparate exchanges out there with different rules of engagement and systems. And this manifests itself in very fragmented market data.”

The plan is to transpose FX infrastructure to the crypto space via a bank-led consortium, and a platform that includes FX-industry standard APIs and best execution, said Lauren Kiley, CEO of Pure Digital.

“State Street has agreed to explore the digital asset space trading space with us, and is also working with us on the tech,” said Kiley in an interview. “We’ve got a couple of banks that have signed with us and several others in the pipeline.”

Unlike a crypto exchange, Pure Digital is building an over-the-counter (OTC) offering with bilateral credit lines and full transparency, so that top tier banks can see exactly who they’re dealing with and can turn on and off counterparties as they choose, Kiley added. 

“All these banks are waking up to crypto and can’t ignore it anymore, “ Kiley said. “Either they find a way to get involved and provide services to meet client demand or they will start to lose relevancy over time.”

read more