World’s top exchanges still warming up to crypto services, survey finds

London-based World Federation of Exchanges found derivatives, security tokens and indexes are the most common crypto products offered by traditional exchanges


IR Stone/Shutterstock, modified by Blockworks


More traditional exchanges are looking to explore the cryptocurrency market, even as the industry grapples with the choice between adopting them or sticking to conventional financial products.

Beginning in May 2022, the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE) carried out a study among its members and affiliated exchanges, revealing a division of opinion regarding the offering of crypto-related services.

Out of 29 participants in the survey, 12 are currently providing services or products related to cryptocurrencies, according to the report published Tuesday.

Out of the 12, three accept cryptocurrencies as a form of payment. 

CME Group provides futures and options contracts for bitcoin (BTC), International Exchange introduced digital asset platform Bakkt, while Nasdaq provides crypto-related indices.

The survey showed that 7 out of the 17 exchanges that do not currently offer crypto services intend to launch such offerings in the future, constituting 41% of those not yet in the crypto space.

WFE chose not to disclose the specific exchanges involved, citing “commercially sensitive information about members.”

The London-headquartered WFE serves as a worldwide trade group, representing over 250 key players in market infrastructure, such as exchanges and clearinghouses. 

As it represents a large portion of the globe’s most critical financial markets, the research and findings of the WFE provide a substantial understanding of trends within the industry.

Participants in the WFE’s survey spanned EMEA, Asia-Pacific and the Americas and featured key players like CME Group, Cboe Global Markets, International Exchange, Japan Exchange Group, Deutsche Börse and Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange.

“Crypto is at the forefront of all of our members’ minds and we are in constant dialogue with them about how to capitalise on the new opportunities in the area,” WFE CEO Nandini Sukumar said in a statement.

“As this industry and market matures, coming in to the mainstream of financial markets, the exchange-traded model which places investor trust, transparency, accountability and investor protection at the heart of platform, will gain further momentum. ”

The research further found that the most commonly offered crypto-related products are derivatives, security tokens and indices. 

WFE survey of exchanges

Additionally, eleven exchanges either have or are planning to set up working groups focused on crypto-related assets and services.

The survey also highlighted that retail investors show more interest in crypto products than their institutional counterparts.

Retail investors showed that the most sought-after products for them are non-fungible tokens, other utility tokens that offer access to future services and stablecoins. 

For institutional investors, the highest demand was for NFTs, security tokens and custody services.

Updated Sept. 5, 2023 at 12:10 pm ET: The survey collection started in May 2022 but survey data and the analysis in the report are up-to-date due to continuous updates by the WFE.

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