The race is on in New York for the future of Bitcoin trading. The NY Post reports that both NASDAQ, the stock exchange with a specialty in tech stocks, and Marc Andreessen, the venture capitalist who helped fund Netscape, Facebook, Twitter, and Oculus, are interested in establishing the first regulated, legal Bitcoin exchange in New York City.
The push comes as the New York state government begins to finalize its new regulation around Bitcoin trading. Both NASDAQ and Marc Andreessen’s $4 billion venture capital firm, Andreessen-Horowitz, which he co-founded with Ben Horowitz, ex-president/CEO of Opsware, in 2009, have approached the government to try to ascertain what would be necessary to establish such an exchange legally and with the blessing of the NY state government.
Both organizations have a hand in the Bitcoin community. Marc Andreessen has been an advocate for Bitcoin for years, and NASDAQ is the first exchange to host the Winklevoss brothers’ new Bitcoin fund. Both also have the high-finance connections to draw serious financial interests to the Bitcoin trading game – when Marc Andreessen or NASDAQ offer you the opportunity to make money, you don’t say no. This is a big deal: a regulated Bitcoin exchange, pumped full of competent, soberly managed money could exert an enormous stabilizing influence over Bitcoin, allowing it to take a place as a real, usable currency as the market matures.
There is also the issue that as the Federal government moves, in its usual pachydermian manner, to regulate Bitcoin, the regulatory barriers to entry may eventually wind up ending the existence of many of the Bitcoin exchanges that currently exist in the US. Without a reputable, regulated, and secure exchange, the US may find itself losing its lead in Bitcoin trading to countries with laxer financial regulations. Regardless of who wins, the end result will be a stronger future for Bitcoin.
For Marc Andreessen’s photo: Joi – Source: www.flickr.com/photos/joi/2757536235/sizes/o/in/photostream
For NASDAQ’s image: Public Domain Image – Source: www.commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:NASDAQ_Logo.svg