Blockchain outfit ConsenSys and TrueDigital Holdings (TDH), a subsidiary ‎of swap execution facility trueEX, have announced a joint venture to develop ‎a benchmark price for Ethereum in a bid to win business from institutional investors ‎looking to enter the cryptocurrency market.‎

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Ethereum had a stellar performance last year, and also has for the most ‎part maintained a hold on the number two position ‎behind Bitcoin in terms of price and market capitalization. ‎

The new collaboration creates the possibility of large-scale adoption ‎among large financial institutions supporting both the vastly ‎increased interest in the virtual coins and their inclusion as an asset ‎class within relevant investment products.‎

At the same time, trueEX announced plans to launch a regulated derivatives ‎marketplace for the crypto assets. Pending regulatory approval by the CFTC, the swap ‎execution facility will initially list contracts for Bitcoin non-deliverable forwards ‎‎(NDFs) settled in the US dollar. ‎

trueEX’s affiliated brand, trueDigital Holdings, will provide product development, ‎and act as the sales and marketing arm for the new products.‎

ConsenSys and trueEX said in a statement that institutional ‎cryptocurrency trading has been held back by the absence of ‎a necessary foundation, infrastructure and platforms. As such, their ‎partnership allows institutional investors to take advantage of the new ‎capability to trade cryptocurrencies either for their own accounts or ‎to offer linked products to their customers.‎

trueEX noted that over the last few years, the total market cap of ‎cryptocurrencies has grown from less than $1 billion to $420 billion. ‎However, the marketplace is lacking “the necessary foundation, ‎infrastructure and platforms that institutional investors have come to expect ‎in other important markets,” said Sunil Hirani, trueEX co-founder and CEO.

He added: “Institutional ‎investors and commercial partners are ready for a regulated and liquid marketplace to ‎gain exposure to and hedge these increasingly important digital currencies and ‎commodities.”

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