10 crypto firms are forming a new group to bring order to the digital asset market

Quick Take

  • 10 of the largest crypto firms are banding together to form a working group to establish new standards for the nascent digital-currency market
  • The so-called Association for Digital Asset Markets could serve as a precursor to a self-regulatory organization 
  • The announcement follows that of two other working groups aspiring to look like SROs

Some leading crypto firms are trying to bring order to the sometimes chaotic market for digital currencies with a new working group that hopes to self regulate the industry. 

The so-called Association for Digital Asset Markets, or ADAM, has been meeting in recent months to create a code of conduct for firms operating in crypto, according to Chad Cascarilla, the co-founder of Paxos. His company, a blockchain technology firm and crypto exchange operator, is one of the 10 founding members of ADAM. Others include market-making firms such as Genesis Global Trading and Hudson River Trading. "Our model is you have to crawl before you walk before you run," Cascarilla said in a phone interview. "We aspire to develop the credibility to one day become an SRO [self-regulatory organization]. But first let's create a common rule of conduct. Let's have conversations to supplement what regulators are talking about. We are not a rule-making body." In equities, security exchanges have their own organization charged with creating common standards and jointly responding to declarations by regulators.

The new group, according to Cascarilla, aims to establish best practices that will breed confidence in the crypto market. "We are looking at ethics, price manipulation, guidelines for best execution," he said. 

The announcement of the group follows the launch of the Virtual Commodity Association Working Group, led by Gemini, the cryptocurrency exchange founded by the Winklevoss twins. That group started meeting in September. Other participants include Bitstamp, Bittrex, and bitFlyer USA. There's also Global Digital Finance, which includes its own heavy-hitters such as Coinbase, Circle, and ConsenSys. "GDF has engaged in outreach with global regulators, standard setting bodies and non-governmental organizations through the development of the code to help provide a consistent professional voice of responsible industry practitioners through this volatile period," a press release said. 

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