According to the New York Times journalist Nathaniel Popper, eTrade, a US-based major financial assets and stocks exchange, is preparing to integrate bitcoin and ethereum for 5 million users.

“In the wake of TD Ameritrade quietly opening Bitcoin trading for some of its customers, I was just told that eTrade is preparing to begin offering both Bitcoin and Ether trading to its 5 million or so customers and is just finalizing a third party to actually hold the coins,” Popper reported.

The consideration of listing crypto assets by eTrade follows a report by The Block which found that TD Ameritrade, a leading brokerage in the US, is experimenting with ErisX’s new crypto exchange to potentially offer cryptocurrency trading services to its 11 million users.

“Testing is a best-practice necessary for us and our customers as we build the most robust and transparent marketplace for digital assets,” a spokeswoman for ErisX reportedly told The Block.

Better Liquidity for Bitcoin and Ethereum

Throughout the past decade, the crypto market has been plagued with fake and inflated volumes. Many major markets like South Korea are still struggling to deal with inflated numbers designed to provide exchanges with higher rankings on market data platforms such as CoinMarketCap for visibility.

A Bitwise presentation to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) revealed that around 95 percent of the volume in the cryptocurrency market is either fake or inflated, with only ten cryptocurrency exchanges recording real volume above $1 million.

Since the launch of CME Group’s bitcoin futures market in 2017, the potential impact of the futures market on the price and liquidity of bitcoin has been underplayed by the market because of its low volume in comparison to the inflated figures of the cryptocurrency exchange market.

However, when compared with the real volume calculated by Bitwise and Messari’s OnChainFX, on some days, the CME bitcoin futures market account for more than half of bitcoin’s total daily volume.

On Apr. 4, for instance, Bloomberg reported that the CME bitcoin futures market recorded a daily volume of $546 million, which easily surpassed the daily spot volume of bitcoin in March at $270 million calculated by Bitwise Asset Management.

Although eTrade and TD Ameritrade are still at an experimental phase, the potential integration of crypto assets like bitcoin and ethereum by the two major trading platforms could result in a noticeable increase in the real volume of bitcoin, in a strictly regulated and transparent environment, which would raise the quality of the liquidity of the asset.

Rising Interest From Conglomerates

Earlier this week, Samsung invested in Ledger, a France-based cryptocurrency hardware wallet manufacturer, to support its move into the cryptocurrency custody market.

The week before, Samsung Ventures also invested in ZenGo, a startup working on keyless alternatives to crypto wallets for casual and mainstream users.

Strategically, Samsung’s investment in wallet companies is sensible considering local reports which claim that Samsung is in the process of developing its own ERC20 token based on the Ethereum network.

Other than Samsung, conglomerates like Facebook are also said to be creating their own cryptocurrencies and JPMorgan has already launched its own, indicating a rise in interest towards the cryptocurrency sector by major financial and technology companies.

The increase in the efforts of large-scale conglomerates to develop better infrastructure to support cryptocurrencies as an asset class could be considered as an optimistic indicator of maturation in the cryptocurrency market.

Filed Under: Bitcoin, Crypto Exchanges, Ethereum

Joseph Young is a finance and tech journalist based in Hong Kong. He has worked with leading media and news agencies in the technology and finance industries, offering exclusive content, interviews, insights and analysis of cryptocurrencies, innovative and futuristic technologies.

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