Bcause, a Virginia-based startup vying to open a new cryptocurrency-derivatives exchange alongside a mining facility for the digital coins, said Wednesday it has chosen Nasdaq I:IXIC to provide technology for matching trades, clearing and market surveillance.
The market is scheduled to begin trading by June, according to a joint press release from the two companies, confirmed by a Nasdaq spokesman. Bcause has filed for regulatory approval from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission for official exchange-related designations.
According to the press release, Bcause will be "the only venue to serve as a one-stop shop for all parts of the digital currency value chain," including a digital mining facility, cryptocurrency trading and a derivatives clearinghouse.
Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ethereum have attracted investment money from venture capitalists and spurred projects and new business at established Wall Street firms like JPMorgan Chase (JPM) - Get Report and Goldman Sachs (GS) - Get Report . That's despite a plunge in prices for the virtual currencies over the past year, not to mention a fledgling regulatory framework and widespread instances of theft and fraud.
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"I fully expect that our markets will attract a broad range of users, from those who are already quite active in the financial markets and familiar with Nasdaq technology, to a new breed of investors wanting to participate in the growing cryptocurrency marketplace," Fred Grede, CEO of Virginia Beach, Virginia-based Bcause, said in the press release.
A key element of the deal is New York-based Nasdaq's surveillance technology, which is used to prevent manipulation and other misconduct, according to the release.
"They wanted to use the surveillance technology to make sure their customers were protected," Nasdaq spokesman Ryan Wells said in a phone interview.
According to the website for Bcause, which also has operations in Chicago, Bcause raised $1 million of seed money in 2015 followed by $5 million of Series A equity in 2017. The company opened a mining facility in Virginia Beach last year, according to the website.