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Physical_Bitcoin_by_Mike_Cauldwell_(Casascius)Online illiquid asset marketplace SecondMarket recently announced plans to launch a dedicated Bitcoin exchange. The New York-based company has long traded in products like private company stocks and auction‐rate securities, but in recent months has been developing a strong virtual currency division. The new exchange would spin out this 11-member team and other assets into a stand-alone company.

The details of the plan were outlined in a story published today on CNN Money’s Fortune blog.

SecondMarket’s move still needs to be formally approved during the company’s monthly board meeting next week, but all of the pieces already are in place. The new company will receive from SecondMarket:

• Digital currency asset management. This includes Bitcoin Investment Trust, the first-ever U.S. investment vehicle dedicated exclusively to Bitcoin. It sort of acts like a currency ETF, and was launched last fall.
• Trading desk: SecondMarket has an 11-person Bitcoin trading team that originally was just a market-maker, but now is on both sides after Mt. Gox began disintegrating.
• $$: SecondMarket will contribute approximately $20 million in cash and Bitcoin assets toward the new company.

According to the report, SecondMarket CEO Barry Silbert will serve as the CEO of the yet-to-be-named new company. Silbert told CoinDesk earlier today that the company will be operational by summer.

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