The undisclosed investment will result in ICE becoming a significant minority shareholder in tZero and is another sign of the closing of the divide between equities and crypto assets.
The Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) has announced a strategic investment in private digital securities marketplace and crypto asset liquidity platform tZero.
ICE, which owns and operates 12 global exchanges including the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), made the announcement on Feb. 22, however, there was no mention of the terms or details of the investment other than ICE becoming a “significant minority shareholder” in tZero.
It did state that as part of the investment, ICE’s Chief Strategy Officer David Goone will join tZero as its new CEO serving on the board of directors.
tZero operates a blockchain-based alternative trading system (ATS) upon which companies can list tokenized versions of their stocks. The firm is fully regulated with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and acts as a broker-dealer in the digital asset space, also offering a number of cryptocurrencies. The platform only offers a handful of tokenized stocks at the moment, one of which is early investor Overstock under the ticker OSTKO.
The platform’s target market is financial firms and investors seeking access to a digital marketplace and unique private assets and equities such as cryptocurrencies and nonfungible tokens (NFTs).
ICE founder, Chairman, and CEO, Jeff Sprecher, commented on Goone’s appointment stating that he has been a “steward of our problem-solving culture,” before adding:
“David’s leadership and his mastery of trading, data, and clearing technology will be a big asset as tZERO begins its next chapter leading the growth and adoption of next-generation market infrastructure.”
Goone, who has been with ICE since 2001, brings a lot of experience to the table having developed and managed many of ICE’s product lines during his tenure.
ICE is a Fortune 500 firm and leader of global exchanges and clearinghouses that provide financial technology and data services across major asset classes.
tZero got off to a rocky start following its security token offering (STO) and numerous investments in 2020. At the time, the fledgling security token platform was still losing money, though this latest investment could provide access to new markets for tZero.
As reported by Cointelegraph on Feb. 15, the NYSE is showing a greater interest in the digital asset space as it filed a patent application for a number of crypto and blockchain-related products and services. These include an online marketplace for trading crypto assets, NFTs, and Metaverse technology such as augmented reality software.