Galaxy Digital, Cumberland and More Plan New Crypto Code of Conduct

Nikhilesh De
Nov 27, 2018 at 13:00 UTC
Updated Nov 27, 2018 at 18:58 UTC
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A group of 10 companies focused on cryptocurrencies and financial services have formed a new group aimed at standardizing a code of conduct for the still-nascent digital asset space.

Announced Tuesday, the Association for Digital Market Assets, or ADAM, is backed by founding members Galaxy Digital, Genesis Global Trading, GSR, Hudson River Trading, Paxos, Symbiont, BitOoda Technologies, BTIG, Cumberland and XBTO.

Together, the companies are pitching conduct voluntary rules to cover the areas of efficient trading, custody, clearing and digital asset settlement, with future guidelines planned to “encourage professionalism and ethical conduct.”

To that end, ADAM plans to work with regulators with the ultimate goal of both aiding existing laws and regulations, as well as earning the trust of both financial watchdogs and policymakers.

And while the group may appear to be setting out to be a self-regulatory organization (SRO), spokesperson Seth London said it isn’t aiming for that designation just yet.

“ADAM must earn the trust of market participants and regulators before it can discuss the SRO designation with regulators and governments that have power to appoint SROs,” he told CoinDesk in an email. He added, though:

“The historical parallels to creation of many SROs mirrors the path that ADAM aims to follow.”

“Currently ADAM includes a wide variety of market participants, including trading platforms, custodians, investors, asset managers, traders, liquidity providers and brokers,” he continued. “Its members are all firms that are active in digital asset markets or seek to participate in those markets once rules are standardized.”

In the coming weeks, ADAM intends to announce its officers and add new members. The group is also in the process of setting up organizational governance.

“In Q1 2019, ADAM intends to convene its members, advisors and regulatory experts to begin drafting the code of conduct. That will take several months. Once the code is adopted, ADAM will exist to evolve it as necessary and monitor compliance,” London added.

In a statement, ADAM advisory board member and former New York Stock Exchange CEO Duncan Niederauer said “rules are fundamental to the development of any market.”

In particular, organizations that can both clarify how existing rules apply to the ecosystem and help increase trust in it are necessary for the crypto markets, he said.

The announcement comes after a group of crypto exchanges teamed up with Gemini founders Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss to launch a new industry-focused self-regulatory organization (SRO) in August. That group, proposed back in March, notably received backing from CFTC Commissioner Brian Quintenz.

Michael Novogratz image via Consensus