Amber Baldet, former head of the blockchain arm at Wall Street’s JPMorgan Chase has suggested that banks trading in cryptocurrencies is imminent.
The ex-bank executive, who has now launched her own startup Clovyr, says crypto business will be conducted by banks, “sooner than people probably think,” although she admits that the legal and regulatory framework remains a challenge to financial institutions.
Baldet played a critical role in establishing the bank’s enterprise blockchain strategy, and its flagship Quorom project and was listed in Fortune’s list of the most influential young people in business. She maintains that another challenge to banks will be custody issues, although banks are beginning to find their own resolutions to the problem, with some announced during the past week.
Goldman Sachs has announced its own plans recently to open a cryptocurrency desk which will make it the first of Wall Street banks to take such a significant step. But, it remains to be seen if Wall Street takes this direction in the future. The biggest issue for banks right now is a lack of clear regulation, as they are strictly prohibited from providing any unregulated services.
Founder of the BKCM digital asset fund and contributor to CNBC’s Fast Money, Brian Kelly, has stated that he sees Wall Street becoming a major factor in crypto market popularity, as new institutions such as Goldman Sachs come on board, commenting that this could cause a market surge.
Baldet’s former employer, J.P. Morgan Chase, developed its blockchain technology two years ago for clearing and settling derivatives and cross-border payments, and has shown signs recently it may be leaning towards cryptocurrency, following in the footsteps of Sachs with the new appointment of Oliver Harris as head of cryptocurrency assets strategy.
Nasdaq is already supporting cryptocurrency exchanges, and the company is certainly not new to cryptocurrency’s underlying technology blockchain. Apart from its long-term relationship with blockchain startup, Chain, it has recently announced a collaboration with cryptocurrency exchange Gemini.
In an interview with CNBC, Nasdaq’s CEO Adena Friedman said the firm could one day launch a crypto exchange, commenting: “Certainly Nasdaq would consider becoming a crypto exchange over time…I believe that digital currencies will continue to persist, it’s just a matter of how long it will take for that space to mature.”
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