Wall Street Bitcoin Alliance Launches to Reflect Growing Institutional Interest
The Wall Street Bitcoin Alliance (WSBA) is a new organization formed by business and technology executives and leaders within the financial industry, including banks, broker-dealers, institutional investors and hedge funds.The announcement states that the mission of the WSBA is to guide and promote comprehensive adoption of digital currency and blockchain technology across financial markets. The member-driven WSBA will interface with national and international government agencies and regulators, as well as technology innovators."Bitcoin and blockchain technology and protocols represent a seismic shift in how financial markets, and all aspects of the global economy, will operate in the future,” said Ron Quaranta, executive director of WSBA.“As we work to incorporate and adapt these powerful technological advances to the world of 'Finance 2.0', having an organized, strategic approach will aid all participants understand and embrace the Bitcoin ecosystem," he said. "We believe that the long-term result will be more efficient markets, more cost-effective solutions for equity ownership, investment and trading and, ultimately, greater value and wealth creation for all participants in the world of finance and trading.”Quaranta is the CEO of Digital Currency Labs, a financial technology and strategic advisory company whose mission is to bridge the gap between the emerging world of digital currencies and Wall Street.The executive committee of WSBA also includes James Jalil, senior partner and head of the cryptocurrency practice at the law firm of Thompson Hine; Gil Luria, managing director at Wedbush Securities' and Christian Martin, chief executive officer of TeraExchange, which operates the first regulated U.S. Bitcoin derivatives exchange.By reverse-merging with publicly traded company MGT Capital Investments, TeraExchange recently created the first publicly traded U.S. Bitcoin derivatives exchange.Full WSBA membership is limited to existing financial market-based firms, including U.S.-registered broker dealers, banks, institutional investment firms and hedge funds.While full membership criteria are quite strict, an associate membership option is open to individuals and companies providing services and capabilities within the Bitcoin and blockchain ecosystem. Bitcoin technology developers, vendors and consultants will be able to participate in the WSBA as associate members.“Bitcoin and the blockchain represent a seismic shift in how financial markets, and all aspects of the global economy, operate. In the same way that the Internet gave us a powerful way to share and access information, Bitcoin and blockchain technology now gives us a powerful way to share and access value,” notes the WSBA website. “The long-term result will be more efficient markets, more cost-effective solutions for equity ownership, investment and trading and, ultimately, greater value and wealth creation for all participants in the world of finance and trading.”Initially, the WSBA will focus on Bitcoin regulatory frameworks such as BitLicense, tax-related aspects of digital currencies, and technological innovation in the Bitcoin ecosystem. The last category is very wide, but it seems likely that the WSBA intends to investigate interfaces and bridges between the emerging digital economy and the mainstream financial system.The WSBA will have a strategic partnership with the Digital Currency Council (DCC), a Bitcoin consultancy and education center that offers training, certification, referrals and networking opportunities to fintech professionals.