Noble Bitcoin Exchange to Use Nasdaq Technology

Noble Bitcoin Exchange to Use Nasdaq Technology

Noble Markets said Tuesday it is adopting Nasdaq technology for its planned Bitcoin exchange, aiming to give institutional investors a credible platform for trading the digital currency.

The startup said it would implement Nasdaq's X-stream Trading technology, already used by more than 30 smaller markets worldwide, to bring the Bitcoin trade to the Wall Street mainstream from often murky fringe exchanges.

Noble hopes that the more proven, transparent and high-speed platform could revive sagging interest in Bitcoin after a year of scandals popped the initial balloon of Bitcoin fervor.

"Noble was founded on the principal of bringing credible market structure and institutional trading expertise to the digital currency marketplace," Noble founder and chief executive John Betts said in a statement.

"Our marketplace, powered by X-stream, allows us to leverage a proven and trusted venue that supports global trading worth billions of dollars reliably every day."

Noble did not give a target for when its exchange would launch.

(Also See: In Boon for Bitcoin, UK to Regulate Digital Currency Exchanges)

Billed as the most widely used exchange platform in the world, X-stream can handle more than 40,000 orders a second, Nasdaq says.

The use of X-stream does not link the new market to the Nasdaq exchange's own trade. But Nasdaq OMX, the company which owns the Nasdaq exchange, says X-stream is "more tried and tested" and "highly transparent", offering an exchange credibility.

The move comes as the Bitcoin bubble of 2012-2013 has collapsed, pulled down by extremely slow adoption of the electronic currency by consumers and the low level of institutional investor involvement in the market.

After soaring to a high valuation of more than $1,000 per Bitcoin 16 months ago, the price plunged to around $250 now.

The market has been buffeted by the collapse of the Tokyo-based Mt Gox Bitcoin exchange last year, the arrest of prominent Bitcoin-based market operators, and the online theft of Bitcoins that underscored the risks in the ostensibly self-regulated, self-secured industry.

Noble is not the only group trying to bring Bitcoin to mainstream institutional investors.

In January, the Winklevoss brothers, tech-sector investors, announced plans for a "next generation" New York-based Bitcoin exchange dubbed Gemini that will be "fully regulated, fully compliant."

After starting up a Bitcoin fund -- which has yet to garner regulatory approval as an exchange-traded fund -- the two said they saw the need for more than that to address investor needs.

"A growing number of US investors, traders, financial institutions and businesses wanted to get involved with Bitcoin directly, but had no options other than to trade overseas or sit on the sidelines," they said.

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