Jamaican Stock Exchange to Trade Cryptocurrencies

- August 14th, 2018

The exchange hasn’t specified which tokens will be made available for trading on the new digital asset platform, but it is estimated that it will go live sometime in 2018.

The Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) is officially gearing up to trade digital currencies, it revealed on Tuesday (August 14).

According to a press release, Blockstation — a Toronto-based fintech company — will collaborate with the JSE to ensure investors can trade cryptocurrencies “within a recognized and secure regulatory framework.”

Under the terms of the agreement, the JSE has the opportunity to solidify itself as one of the first international stock exchanges to incorporate a digital currency and token-trading platform. This will include trading, quotes, execution and settlement services that mirror existing regulatory and compliance standards.

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“We are excited to implement this service with our clients, satisfying considerable investor interest in digital assets. We are also proud to be at the forefront of bringing innovation to capital markets,” Marlene Street Forrest, the JSE’s managing director, said in the release.

The release indicates that a live workshop of the digital platform has been completed. It was comprised of five local broker members and representatives, while Blockstation also conducted beta tests in the country with participating organizations.

While Blockstation is based in Canada, its focus is on providing international stock exchanges with end-to-end solutions for the trading, clearing and settlement of bitcoin and other digital currencies against the backdrop of existing regulatory frameworks.

Blockstation’s Smart ECN (electronic communication network) platform helps stock exchanges by making a central order book across a range of broker/dealer networks. Assets can be traded safely using automation, and users can see and understand the relationship of digital assets to fiat currencies.

Forrest said in the release that the JSE is comfortable with its collaboration decision with Blockstation because its trading platform “incorporates familiar compliance rules to ensure a fair marketplace.”

This isn’t Jamaica’s first venture into the digital currency space. In 2017, Jamaica Information Service (JIS) issued a report stating that the Bank of Jamaica was looking to build cryptocurrency awareness.

According to JIS, the bank’s deputy governor, Livingstone Morrison, said the bank should create opportunities to further explore digital currencies, and that the bank had formed a group to build awareness of these technological developments.

“They (the group) are also guiding regional efforts. In this particular development (use of cryptocurrencies), whatever we do in Jamaica will have a ripple effect across the region, certainly if the benefits are to be fully accessed,” Morrison said.

However, in February 2018, the Jamaica Observer reported that the Bank of Jamaica was advising against investing in digital currencies.

“The Bank of Jamaica is aware of reports of investments in virtual currencies and the use of these types of instruments for the settlement of economic transactions,” Morrison was quoted saying.

“In light of these reports, the Bank is advising the public to exercise caution in the use of virtual currencies (cryptocurrencies) given the associated risks and the absence of appropriate governance and consumer protection arrangements.”

While the JSE didn’t specify which cryptocurrencies will be tradable on its new digital asset platform, Coindesk reported that it will be available sometime in 2018.

Don’t forget to follow us @INN_Technology for real-time news updates! 

Securities Disclosure: I, Jocelyn Aspa, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article. 

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