Are NFTs coming to the NYSE? Eventually, but Upstream is live now.

6 min readFeb 25, 2022


Upstream, a regulated exchange powered by Ethereum is live and offering both securities and NFTs to participate in.

by Fernanda De La Torre and Vanessa Malone

The NYSE is entering the NFT Marketplace

Last week the New York Stock Exchange filed a trademark application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office to register the name “NYSE” for a number of blockchain and cryptocurrency-related products and services, including a marketplace for non-fungible tokens “NFTs”.¹

Last April we saw the NYSE express interest in the space when it minted its own NFTs on to commemorate the trading of several major firm including Spotify, Roblox, and Door dash.²

Given the recent success of NFTs, it’s understandable that the NYSE would want to get in on the action. The NFT market has grown exponentially with total trading volume across 14 NFT marketplaces rising from $85.7 MILLION in 2020 to $19.6 BILLION in 2021.³

Cryptocurrency exchanges have already pivoted to offer NFTs on their marketplaces. Binance entered the space last June⁴ and Coinbase announced their plans to launch an NFT marketplace at the end of last year.⁵

If the NYSE follows through with these plans, it could kick off a race for other national securities exchanges to offer NFT trading alongside securities trading which would compete with the likes of OpenSea and Rarible.

However, due to the longstanding infrastructure the NYSE and other large corporations have, it may take some time to see these plans come to fruition.

Upstream is live and actively offering NFTs

As this all remains pending, Upstream, a MERJ Exchange Market, is live and actively supporting both digital securities and NFTs on its fully regulated exchange.

Upstream is the world’s first digital asset securities market built on the Ethereum blockchain and operated under a securities exchange license.

As a MERJ Exchange Market, Upstream benefits from MERJ being an affiliate of the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE) — the same federation NYSE, Nasdaq and other national exchanges are a part of — recognized by HM Revenue and Customs UK, a full member of the Association of National Numbering Agencies (ANNA), a Qualifying Foreign Exchange for OTC Markets in the U.S. and is licensed in the Republic of Seychelles.

Upstream has also adopted the Financial Action Task Force (“FATF”) standards to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing, introducing both regulatory compliance and security to an ecosystem already dealing with scams and fraud.

Best of both worlds

As an Ethereum-powered, regulated exchange, we offer a modern approach bridging the transparent, decentralized world of blockchain with the security and seamless user journey that traditional securities exchanges provide.

Benefits of being a regulated marketplace

Many existing NFT marketplaces have moved faster than regulation and we believe it’s not a question of “if” but “when” the NFT marketplace will have to begin complying with identity verification and anti-money laundering efforts.

As a fully regulated digital stock exchange, Upstream’s NFT market inherently meets U.S.-securities and bank-secrecy laws as standard practice. We’ve integrated these compliance checks seamlessly into the onboarding process traders complete through our trading app.

Another issue with traditional blockchain-powered markets is hacking and bugs that could cause users to lose their NFT holdings.

6 days ago OpenSea, the largest NFT marketplace confirmed that it has been hit by a phishing attack and that at least 32 users had lost their valuable NFTs worth $1.7 million.⁶

Upstream NFT smart contracts use the same underlying technology we deploy for securities, basically a top-level custodian/transfer-agent that can “burn and replace” stolen NFTs in extenuating circumstances.

Because Upstream onboarding includes identity verification, anti-money laundering, and copyright protection, buyers and sellers are safeguarded.

Upstream supports NFTs tied to high-profile athlete and celebrity ventures that may list on Upstream, so it was critical to include measures that protect personal brands and their fans. This also creates a safe and secure NFT ecosystem for our community to transact in throughout the NFTs’ lifecycles.

Benefits of being powered by Ethereum

Upstream operates as a layer-2 Ethereum rollup with its own solar field for ETH mining used for its rollups. It represents all the benefits of an “industry standard” ERC-721 NFT platform but NFTs minted, bought, and sold on Upstream are 100% carbon neutral.

This eliminates the big carbon footprint other marketplaces face when dealing with Ethereum.

Another big issue on existing platforms on Ethereum is the rising costs of gas fees. Upstream doesn’t charge gas fees for users. Because we focus on fan engagement NFTs across sports, music, and entertainment, this enables these groups to offer fans hundreds, thousands, even millions of affordable or free NFTs.

Upstream also only charges sellers a $1 NFT auction fee, and only upon sale will sellers pay a 2% sales commission, constituting some of the lowest creator/seller fees in the NFT space.

For NFT creators, the minting process is seamless and with just a few clicks, your NFTs are ready to be sold! Funding your Upstream account is also easy and flexible. You can use digital currency in the form of USDC stablecoin, PayPal, Credit, Debit, and regular bank payments.

Through our trading app, you are directly connected to the exchange which is unique. On Upstream you are given direct access to the exchange. All bids and offers are transparent on a public, open order-book.

Concluding thoughts

We believe Upstream offers the best of both worlds to support the future of securities and NFT trading. Visit to download the app. Join the conversation on Discord.

Upstream recently powered two successful NFT Airdrops where all NFTs were claimed within hours!
✅ Honey County during the SuperBowl
✅ Benzinga’s NFT Listmakers event

Interested parties wanting to launch an NFT airdrop to fans can reach the team at


  1. USPTO | 2 The Motley Fool | 3 1Confirmation |4,5 Coin Telegraph | 6 Yahoo Finance

About Upstream

Upstream, a MERJ Exchange Market, is a fully regulated global stock exchange for digital securities. Powered by Horizon’s proprietary matching engine technology, the exchange enables investors to trade shares in IPOs, NFTs, U.S., and international dual-listed equities, and celebrity ventures directly from the app Interested issuers can reach the team at

About Horizon

Horizon is a fintech company that builds and powers global securities exchanges with an integrated suite of software for compliant issuance, management, and secondary trading of securities. Their in-house solutions combine Wall Street and Silicon Valley to power the next generation of securities offerings and trading in the U.S. and globally. Learn more at


Upstream is a MERJ Exchange market. MERJ Exchange is a licensed Securities Exchange, an affiliate of the World Federation of Exchanges and full member of ANNA. MERJ supports global issuers of traditional and digital securities through the entire asset life cycle from issuance to trading, clearing, settlement and registry. It operates a fair and transparent marketplace in line with international best practice and principles of operations of financial markets. Upstream does not endorse or recommend any public or private securities bought or sold on its app. Upstream does not offer investment advice or recommendations of any kind. All brokerage services offered by Upstream are intended for self-directed clients who make their own investment decisions without aid or assistance from Upstream. All customers are subject to the rules and regulations of their jurisdiction. By accessing the site or app, you agreed to be bound by its terms of use and privacy policy. Company and security listings on Upstream are only suitable for investors who are familiar with and willing to accept the high risk associated with speculative investments, often in early and development stage companies. There can be no assurance the valuation of any particular company’s securities is accurate or in agreement with the market or industry comparative valuations. Investors must be able to afford market volatility and afford the loss of their investment. Companies listed on Upstream are subject to significant ongoing corporate obligations including, but not limited to disclosure, filings and notification requirements, as well compliance with applicable quantitative and qualitative listing standards.




A MERJ Exchange Market. Ethereum-powered trading app for digital securities and NFTs