Last week was a major one for cryptocurrency. The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), Starbucks, and Microsoft announced their intent to establish a digital asset exchange to improve crypto’s use. All sides of the equation praised the move. Not only that, but Jeff Sprecher, the CEO of ICE, NYSE’s parent company, had something to say as well.
Sprecher interviewed with fortune and discussed the partnership’s focus on developing a tangible infrastructure for cryptocurrencies. Sprecher also highlighted Bitcoin’s potential as one of the first worldwide currencies, given its decentralized and consensus-based quality. As Sprecher stated, “Bitcoin would greatly simplify the movement of global money. It has the potential to become the first worldwide currency.”
I'm all for helping institutions buy crypto.
The leadership at ICE/Bakkt
— Kyle Samani (@KyleSamani) August 3, 2018
Further, although Sprecher is recognized for his positive position on cryptocurrency, he took a more cynical view towards the end of the interview, mentioning that digital currencies must run on an established infrastructure of trust and rules, markers of the traditional financial sector. In Sprecher’s own words,
“Bitcoin can’t survive as a rogue idea. To evolve, the cryptocurrencies need to run on established infrastructure. They need the trust and rules that have been built into our financial system for many years. They need the kind of trust that the Big Board represents.”
It is no doubt that cryptocurrencies operate better on an established infrastructure, such as a secure wallet, an exchange, and payment processing network. These elements safeguard users’ ability to receive and send money with ease. Further, Coinbase and Blockchain developed the proper frameworks to simplify a difficult process of sending and receiving the funds.
Samani, a prominent investor behind Multicoin Capital added, “I’m all for helping institutions buy crypto. The leadership at Ice/Bakkt just does not get it.”
Samani has also viewed institutional investors are being reluctant to invest in the cryptocurrency market due to the lack of custodian solutions.
“There are many investors where custody is the latest barrier. Over the next year, the market will realize that safekeeping is a solved problem. This will release a large capital wave.”
At this point, it is not realistic that the cryptocurrency industry will share the same level of trust as the financial sector. However, it may be possible with transaction monitoring, internal management, audit, insurance, and security systems. Each of these qualities may make it easier for investors and retail traders to feel comfortable about investing in the emerging asset class.