ICE's Chief Says Crypto Trading Is a `Trend We Can't Ignore'

(Bloomberg) -- Intercontinental Exchange Inc., the owner of New York Stock Exchange, on Monday refused to rule out starting futures contracts on digital currencies, following in the footsteps of two of its rivals.

“There is a trend here we can’t ignore in my mind, so I don’t discount it,” Jeffrey Sprecher, ICE’s chief executive officer, said in an interview on Bloomberg TV. “People put more faith in a guy named Satoshi Nakamoto that no one has ever met than they do in the U.S. Fed,” he said, referring to the founder of bitcoin.

Dozens of small exchanges have mushroomed in recent years to capitalize on the growing popularity of trading crypto assets even as theft and regulatory scrutiny curb some of the initial enthusiasm. Traditional exchange operators have rolled out offerings for their own customers to capitalize on the price volatility.

In December, CME Group Inc. and Cboe Global Markets Inc. started futures contract on bitcoin, while Nasdaq Inc. is also considering introducing them.

“People are more comfortable in technology than the institutions of government and society that I grew up with,” Sprecher said.

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