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The Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) will soon offer cryptocurrencies as tradable assets to customers suggesting that in the future, the JSE might have its own cryptocurrency.

Last week, the JSE signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Toronto-based startup blockchain Blockstation for the creation of a new digital asset trading platform. A press release was published on the official website of Blockstation, a startup that specializes in implementing crypto exchange platforms. The announcement stated that the Jamaican Stock Exchange signed an agreement to offer the services of trading, quoting, execution and settlement of cryptoactives in a regulated and secure manner. While it is not clear which tokens will be listed initially, the platform will be fully configured and active before the end of the year.

In an interview, JSE Managing Director Marlene Street Forrest said that offering cryptomoney as investment products are consistent with the stocks, bonds, and other investment products the exchange already offers.

Forrest said:

The main purpose at the end of the day is to exchange tokens, smart contracts, and provide that area of the market that wants this product, to start doing it safely (…) We are excited to implement this service with our customers, satisfying a considerable investor interest in digital assets. We are also proud to be at the forefront of innovation in the capital markets.”

The director added that a committee set up by the stock exchange has been studying the project for several months, based on the analysis of the product offered by Blockstation, in order to evaluate its implementation in several phases.

She adds that as part of the plan, a workshop was recently held with an initial group of five representatives of local regulators, while the firm successfully completed beta testing of the platform in Jamaica, with the participation of several institutions.

Blockstation will provide the technology while the JSE infrastructure will network to the new platform, allowing qualified investors to make purchases or exchanges. In addition to listing cryptocurrencies for trading, Forrest said the exchange will continue to explore how blockchain technology can benefit the platform and its customers. She indicated that JSE’s plans might include issuing its own cryptocurrency sometime in the future.

Blockstation is dedicated to providing international stock exchanges, brokers and intermediaries, and even regulators with customized technology solutions that facilitate the trading and settlement of bitcoin (BTC) and altcoins.

Jai Waterman, Blockstation co-founder, said in a statement that the startup has been working with JSE for approximately six months to develop a customized version of its platform for the exchange. Specific JSE requests have included tools to track market manipulation and other regulatory needs.

Our mission is to provide a secure method of trading cryptocurrencies with brokers and stock exchanges,” said Waterman. “We provide the stock exchange with the technology for a network of brokers and brokers, so that from start to finish, their trading lifecycle, as with securities, can do exactly the same with blockchain and cryptocurrency.”

However, JSE is in no hurry and is taking its time to ensure that the launch is safe for investors, Forrest said.

We have a steering committee that was designed and formulated to analyze the Blockstation product, look at the blockchain technology in general and go through the phases to ensure that we understand what we are getting involved with and are also trained in what all the cryptos trade involves,” she explained.

As such, she said, the integration of the Blockchain exchange will be ‘gradual.’

Other Stock Exchanges Approach Cryptocurrencies

With this initiative, the Jamaica Stock Exchange becomes one of the first to offer this type of service with cryptocurrencies, although other international stock exchanges have also announced similar plans. On July 6, the Swiss Stock Exchange announced the start of a project based on distributed ledger technology for the custody, liquidation, and deposit of digital assets, which will be launched in 2019.

The German Stock Exchange launched an application last April that will allow investors to invest in BTC, ETH, XRP, and LTC starting next September. The German Stock Exchange also announced a week ago that it will create a platform that will include support for Initial Currency Offers (ICOs) and coin custody.

Another essential piece of information as to how the international stock exchanges are approaching the crypto active ecosystem has been the launch of Bakkt. It is a new company dedicated to the exchange and services associated with the trading of futures and custody of digital assets, created by Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), the financial services and stock management operator linked to the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

The trend for governments and institutions to launch initiatives on the blockchain is increasing at a rapid pace, Jamacia’s Stock Exchange is just one of many examples of this.