Bitcoin trading platform Atlas ATS has teamed up with the New Jersey-based National Stock Exchange in an effort to speed up regulatory approval.
With the move, Atlas ATS has revealed rather ambitious plans, as it is also in the process of launching a globally integrated bitcoin exchange in conjunction with Perseus Telecom.
The firms hope to bring industrial-strength security and regulatory compliance to the world of bitcoin, with the aim of attracting institutional investors and individuals who do not want to deal with unregulated, often anonymous bitcoin exchanges.
Bypassing red tape
The National Stock Exchange is a relatively small exchange, but it is recognised by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as a self-regulatory organisation (SRO). Under the agreement, Atlas ATS will become the first bitcoin exchange regulated by an SEC-approved entity.
The Wall Street Journal points out that it is still unclear how the SEC will respond to the deal. If Atlas ATS gets the green light and if the SEC recognizes its compliance, the exchange could save a lot of time and resolve potential regulatory issues.
The biggest hurdle facing US-based bitcoin exchanges is that they need to get FinCEN money transmitting licences from all 50 states. If the Atlas ATS deal goes through, however, it will not have to.
However, the SEC has not yet made any statement about the proposed partnership.
Atlas ATS's ultimate goal is to create a regulated, globally integrated exchange. The company currently operates sister exchanges in Hong Kong and Singapore, processing up to 10,000 transactions a day. However, the public exchange is seeing a lot less volume, just 100 to 1,000 transactions a day.
Atlas says it will comply with SEC rules governing stock and option exchanges in the US. Its platform relies high-bandwidth communications with a lot of automation, allowing it to function in a similar fashion to high-frequency trading (HFT) firms.
HFT companies have been taking a lot of flak lately over their practices and some lawmakers in the US even called for hearings on the subject earlier this month.
The impact of high-frequency traders on markets and competitiveness has become a rather controversial subject and that controversy could soon be coming to the bitcoin markets.
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