American stock exchange NASDAQ is forming a unique partnership with Bitcoin startup Noble Markets. Upon launch, Noble will use NASDAQ’s X-stream technology, joining the 30 global marketplaces that use the multi-asset trading platform.

Founder and CEO John Betts leads a Noble Markets team with experience at financial institutions like Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, and UBS.

Previously, Betts’ most well-known involvement in the digital currency community was as an investor and organizer behind the SaveGox.com campaign, He was also VP of strategy for Strevus, a regulatory compliance platform provider that added support for digital currency startups in 2014.

According to Betts, Noble seeks to leapfrog competitors in the market by providing much of the functionality they would otherwise build themselves. To elaborate, Betts suggested that Noble wouldn’t aim to compete against Bitcoin exchanges, but instead aim to provide them liquidity.

Betts explained to CoinDesk:

We’re not trying to fight for a slice of the pie, we’re building the venue where the large capital that exists in the capital markets and corporations that use these products as part of their business needs, where we can provide that liquidity to other exchanges. The goal is to create a larger pie.

Betts conceives Noble’s product as a bridge between the traditional financial and Bitcoin communities, saying that Noble aims to find “the best of both worlds” in terms of attracting these now disparate ecosystems.

In turn, Betts suggests that NASDAQ is eager to work with a partner in the Bitcoin space and that they are an active player in helping to forge the relationship.

Filling a business need

Betts contends that services that utilize Bitcoin but provide a more familiar experience to veterans of traditional financial backgrounds are vital to this goal of growing the size of the Bitcoin market.

That’s why Betts believes Noble will be best positioned to tackle this problem. The NASDAQ technology will use standard interfaces built on “20 years of intellectual property.”

“They [Bitcoin services] need counterparties that will provide the services they need to do business, and they have not had a counterparty that they’ve been able to trade Bitcoin with,” Betts added.

Betts continued by stating that Noble has built its own infrastructure that incorporates robust real-time risk management, consolidation and settlement capabilities.

Further, he suggested that any marketplace that wanted to convince larger players they could be responsible for customer assets would need these tools.

NASDAQ believes in innovation

Meanwhile, NASDAQ representatives have sought to define the announcement as one that positions the more than 40-year-old company as a supporter of “new and emerging technologies.”

Lars Ottersgård, NASDAQ’s executive vice president of market technology, affirmed that his company will continue to support Noble’s efforts to use NASDAQ technology in a new market.

Ottersgård said:

We are thrilled to work with the experienced industry veterans at Noble Markets and look forward to supporting their cutting-edge, new endeavor for the long term in addressing the needs of the digital currency space.

Betts then said that his personal experience led him to believe major financial institutions are beginning to evolve their thinking about the larger Bitcoin ecosystem to the point where they’re eager to get involved with the technology.

While he believes Bitcoin provides a number of inherent advantages, Betts suggested that benefits by themselves are not enough, concluding:

To be able to leverage that, there are other products and services they need, and that’s part of the Noble Markets value proposition.

Image via Flickr by bfishadow

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