Brazil’s largest independent brokerage is the latest example of a retail stock exchange to enter the cryptocurrency markets amidst a growing movement for stock exchanges to offer retail investors access to cryptocurrencies.

Grupo XP, the owner of XP Investmentos SA, the largest independent brokerage in Brazil, announced that they would be moving into the cryptocurrency markets by offering a platform exchange for Bitcoin and Ethereum in the coming months. Grupo XP’s CEO, Guilherme Benchimol, spoke about the launch of the new platform while at an event in Sao Paulo earlier this week.

Currently, cryptocurrency’s popularity is exploding in Brazil, with investors having five times as much exposure to Bitcoin as they do stocks. The sheer popularity of Bitcoin is what is pushing the exchange into the markets, although Benchimol isn’t excited about his exchange’s new product.

“I must confess, this is a theme I’d rather didn’t exist, but it does. We felt obligated to start advancing in this market,” Benchimol said.

The new platform comes as Brazil’s government is strengthening cryptocurrency regulations by offering comprehensive frameworks outlining the tax laws surrounding the relatively new forms of currencies. Brazil’s main regulatory authority, the CVM, has released a comprehensive document that offers guidance to fund managers looking at adding cryptocurrencies to their portfolios.

The new exchange will be called XDEX and will be run by Thiago Maffra independently of the exchange’s other platforms and is the latest example of traditional retail exchanges moving into the cryptocurrency markets.

NYSE and Nasdaq Are Examples of Retail Exchange Entering Cryptocurrency Markets

In August, news broke that the New York Stock Exchange’s parent company, Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), was entering the cryptocurrency markets through a partnership with upcoming cryptocurrency exchange, Bakkt.

The upcoming exchange is anticipated to bring an unprecedented level of corporate interest in the cryptocurrency markets and has already gained corporate partners including Microsoft and Starbucks.

CNBC’s Brian Kelly has high hopes for this new exchange, saying that the Bakkt exchange news is “the biggest (crypto) news of the year.”

The goal of Bakkt is to provide the cryptocurrency markets with a “scalable on-ramp for institutional, merchant, and consumer participation.” If approved by the U.S. CFTC, the exchange will mark the first major examples of a major U.S. stock exchange entering the cryptocurrency markets through a partnership with an exchange.

Nasdaq, another major U.S.-based exchange, is also reportedly entering the cryptocurrency markets by acquiring a crypto-friendly startup based in Sweden.

Nasdaq will be acquiring the company, called Cinnober, for $190 million in cash. Although the Swedish fintech startup does not yet offer investors access to cryptocurrencies, they have been working on several analytic tools for tracking and predicting the price of cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin and Ethereum.

The startup has also been working to provide real-time clearing technology and post-trade solutions for cryptocurrency exchanges. It is unclear whether or not Nasdaq will incorporate any of Cinnober’s solutions into their own exchange.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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