National Stock Exchange announces partnership with bitcoin trading platform Atlas ATS

Home » National Stock Exchange announces partnership with bitcoin trading platform Atlas ATS
Atlas ATS logo

Atlas ATS logo

Bitcoin’s steady march towards Wall Street crossed another milestone today as bitcoin trading platform Atlas ATS announced a deal with the National Stock Exchange (NSX). Although the New Jersey-based NSX is one of the smaller national stock exchanges, averaging less than 1% of the U.S. stock-trading volume, it has the significant advantage of being a Securities and Exchange Commission-recognized self-regulatory organization. This distinction allows the NSX to create and enforce its own rules on how Atlas’s exchange will operate.

With the SEC’s rules on bitcoin still unclear, the NSX has a great deal of flexibility on how it handles bitcoin-related services. The move is expected to greatly reduce the delays in the regulatory approval process seen by SecondMarket and the Winklevoss twins’ bitcoin trust. Once the rules are finalized, Atlas will become the first bitcoin marketplace in the U.S. under “quasi-government” regulation, being indirectly overseen by SEC.

In a story in today’s Wall Street Journal, reporter Michael J. Casey explained how SEC regulation might interact with Atlas on the exchange.

It isn’t clear how the SEC, which doesn’t regulate bitcoin, might respond to Atlas’s use of the National Stock Exchange’s SRO status to earn this exemption. The SEC declined to comment for this article. … In a statement, Atlas said its rule book would be based on SEC-approved rules used by U.S. stock and option exchanges. These establish requirements for record books, the segregation of customer accounts, security of assets and other standards.

The NSX appears to be a fairly good fit for Atlas and bitcoin. The small-volume, all-digital exchange has struggled for marketshare for decades, and was acquired by competitor CBOE in 2011. As the first exchange to offer bitcoin-related services at a time when hundreds of millions of venture capital dollars are flooding into the cryptocurrency field, the partnership could be a huge financial and marketing coup for NSX.

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