The technology behind Bitcoin could someday change the way you invest—even if you never invest in Bitcoin. Here’s how some firms are bridging the gap between Wall Street and the cryptocurrency crowd.

ON A CRISP MID-JANUARY MORNING, I ARRIVE AT THE BOSTON headquarters of Circle, a cryptocurrency startup, just as the markets tank. As the day unfolds, virtual coins hemorrhage billions of dollars in value. The price of Bitcoin—along with those of the majority of the top 50 cryptocurrencies—plummets more than 20%. It’s one of the market’s worst one-day routs in a winter full of them. Panicked investors dub the drubbing “Red Tuesday.”

But Circle’s office is unusually tranquil. No managers are throwing a hissy fit. No one is shouting Sell! Sell!”—or Buy! Buy! for that matter—from behind a bank of blinking computer monitors. No subordinates are whimpering. And CEO Jeremy Allaire is the calmest of all. “In this market you have to assume regular 20% swings,” Allaire says with a shrug. The boss, who resembles a softer Steve Ballmer, saunters past a klatch of employees chowing down on Aussie-style meat pies. As we walk

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