Germany’s Second-Largest Stock Exchange Launches ICO, Crypto Trading Platform

Boerse Stuttgart, Germany’s second-largest stock exchange, is launching a full-fledged trading venue for cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings in an effort to pioneer the financial industry’s “digital transformation.”

“End-to-End Infrastructure for Digital Assets”

On Thursday, Boerse Stuttgart announced it is creating “end-to-end infrastructure for digital assets” that will complement its recently developed BISON trading app. BISON, which is scheduled for release later this year, is said to be the first crypto app to have full backing from a traditional stock exchange.

“After the start of cryptocurrency trading via BISON, there will soon be a platform for initial coin offerings (ICOs), a multilateral trading venue for cryptocurrencies as well as solutions for safe custody,” the exchange said in a statement. “Boerse Stuttgart Group thus continues to pursue its digitisation strategy and is becoming a pioneer for the digital transformation of financial markets and financial products.”

Stuttgart’s ICO platform will allow companies to issue their tokens for capital-raising purposes or to represent rights to underlying assets. The platform will also enable companies to carry out the entire token raise through a “standardized and transparent” process.

In terms of custody, Stuttgart claims it will offer “differentiated safety concepts” for cryptocurrencies that will first be available through Bison. In doing so, it becomes one of the first platforms to custody digital assets – a move that could spearhead adoption at the institutional level.

The Push for Mainstream Adoption

The race for crypto custody is heating up as pension funds, hedge funds and big banks seek greater exposure to digital assets. As the regulatory haze continues to clear, market players are developing new product lines to tap into the next wave of cryptocurrency adoption.

Coinbase, the U.S.-based digital currency exchange, is one such company betting big on institutional adoption. On Friday, the company announcement it plans to expand its custody service to include 40 more cryptocurrencies, including Ripple XRP.

In addition to XRP, Coinbase is planning to custody EOS, Monero, Dash and VeChain, among others.

Even bigger than the Coinbase announcement was the revelation that Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), the world’s biggest stock exchange operator, is planning a major foray into digital assets through its Bakkt startup company.

Efforts to bring cryptocurrency mainstream will only intensify as exchanges, startups and traditional financial services look to tap into the lucrative business. Although margins are likely to drop in the future, early adopters like Coinbase and Goldman-backed Circle have set a strong precedent for other companies looking to enter the space.

Roughly $10-$15 billion is traded daily on digital currency exchanges, according to CoinMarketCap. However, that figure represents only a fraction of what’s traded in over-the-counter markets.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Chief Editor to and Contributor to, Sam Bourgi has spent the past nine years focused on economics, markets and cryptocurrencies. His work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Avid crypto watchers and those with a libertarian persuasion can follow him on twitter at @hsbourgi