The Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) is set to launch a digital asset trading platform in partnership with Canadian blockchain startup Blockstation. The exchange will provide cryptocurrencies as tradable assets for its clients although JSE has not said which tokens will be listed. The platform will go live by the end of this year.
In an interview with new platform CoinDesk, JSE managing director Marlene Street Forrest said the decision to offer cryptocurrencies as investment products is in line with the other products they are already offering such as equities and bonds.
“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,” she said adding that Blockstation will provide the technology while the JSE infrastructure “will be networked to the new” trading platform enabling qualified investors to buy or trade.
Forrest also said the bourse is looking at how blockchain technology can improve the platform and benefit its clients. In addition, JSE will gradually integrate blockchain technology and could also issue its own cryptocurrency in the future.
“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,” she said adding that JSE will take its time to ensure that the platform is safe for investors when it is launched.
Blockstation’s co-founder and chief enterprise architect Jai Waterman told CoinDesk that they have been working with JSE for nearly six months to create the trading platform.
“Our mission is to provide […] a secure method of trading cryptocurrencies with broker-dealers and stock exchanges. We are providing the stock exchange [with] the technology for a broker-dealer network and repository so that from end-to-end, their life cycle of trading – just like with securities – they can do the exact same thing with blockchain and cryptocurrencies,” he said.