Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) to Launch Crypto Asset Trading by Year End

Avi Rosten

The Jamaica Stock Exchange announced today that it will be offering crypto-asset trading by the end of the year.

According to a report by Coindesk, the company announced that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Blockstation, a Toronto-based company that bills itself as “The Institution’s Choice for Trading Digital Assets,” to build a digital assets trading platform by the end of 2018.

Street Forrest, managing director of the stock exchange, explained where the company sees the deal taking them:

So the end game at the end of the day is to trade tokens, the end game is smart contracts, the end game is to provide that area of the market that would like this product, to start to do so in a secure manner.

Adding that they may look into other ways to incorporate blockchain tech, including a possible token listing of their own, she explained how the company sees the capability evolving:

The environment changes, the entire ecosystem changes, so at that point in time that might be the case, [although] at this point in time [their own crptocurrency]…is not a discussion. We have a steering committee that was designed and formulated to look at the Blockstation product, to look at the blockchain technology in general and to go through the phases to ensure that we understand what we are getting involved with and are also trained in what this entire trading of cryptocurrency involves.

Stock Exchanges Getting In on the Act

This latest news will come as somewhat of an encouragement at a time when the bearish market seems to be continuing unabated.

Recent news from other stock exchanges, however, also bodes well for the industry in the longer term.

On August 3rd, ICE (the Intercontinental Exchange) announced that it was launching a new company to be called Bakkt, with the goal of "building an open, seamless global network to enable you to buy, sell, store and spend digital assets simply, safely and efficiently" - with bitcoin futures trading set to be one of the first offerings.

Brexit Could Give Cryptocurrency Investors Profitable Opportunities, OKEx Says

Prominent cryptocurrency exchange OKEx has recently argued Britain’s exit from the European Union could give cryptocurrency investors profitable opportunities and even be overall beneficial for the cryptocurrency space.

In a Medium post, OKEx noted that markets have been haunted not just by the US-China trade war, but also by the looming threat of Brexit under Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who in the eyes of most increased the possibility of a No-deal Brexit.

The UK Parliament is set to return from a summer break in the second half of September, and soon after intense debates are expected, between MPs and PM Johnson regarding Britain’s exit from the EU.

The exchange’s post cites a report published by UK-based think tank Institute for Government, which notes the organization believes there’s a big chance the UK will leave the EU without a deal. The potential impact of this on the global economy is currently unknown.

UK’s Economy Already Taking a Toll

It notes, however, the UK’s economy is already showing signs it’s weighting in a No-deal Brexit as its manufacturing PMI remained at 48 in July, a low level it hadn’t seen for six and a half years. The country’s CBI Business Optimism Indicator dropped 19 to -32 in the third quarter of the year, its weakest quarter since late 2016.

Part of the reason the economy’s impact is expected to be massive is the EU is one of the country’s biggest trading partners, with data showing half of the UK’s exports going to countries within the Union.

These factors have impacted the country’s fiat currency, the British pound (GBP), which saw its value fall to a multi-year low against the USD, and the country’s 10-year bond yields have dropped to a record low of less than 0.5%.

Safe haven assets like gold have in the last few years outperformed the FTSE 100, the country’s stock market benchmark index. Bitcoin, which some now see as a safe haven, has also outperformed it in the last few months.

In fact, since the decision to leave the EU was announced, bitcoin’s price has increased by over 1,000%, a nearly unrivaled performance in the financial markets.

Cryptocurrency Opportunities

As OKEx notes bitcoin’s performance is hard to ignore, and there may be a few opportunities in the cryptocurrency space created by Brexit. As negotiations go on volatility in the markets are expected, and the cryptocurrency exchanges notes this, by itself, presents and opportunity for savvy traders.

Crypto traders and traditional money managers could take advantage of these volatile conditions to ride the markets.

Is the UK does leave the EU without a deal, it could help reshape the regulatory landscape for cryptocurrency and blockchain-related firms, as the country won’t be bound to the Union’s rules and will likely be more proactive when it comes to innovation to stay competitive.

A study conducted by Cindicator Analysis OKEx quoted shows that 63% of analysts surveyed believe Brexit will continue to be a major source of uncertainty in the market, and more than 73% of those surveyed said they would add cryptocurrencies to their portfolio when risk appetite in the markets is low.

The crypto bets the analysts would make revolve around large-cap coins like BTC, ETH, and LTC. Nevertheless 19% of respondents said they don’t believe the event will have a meaningful impact on the cryptocurrency space, while another 19% believe the impact will be negative for cryptocurrencies.

The study further found 51% believe cryptocurrency adoption has been growing partly because it helps hedge against uncertain economic outlooks, while 15.6% noted adoption remains low and cryptos are still too risky to use as a hedge.