The executive vice president at Nasdaq, Tal Cohen, has confirmed there is a possibility that the second-largest US stock exchange will consider launching a crypto exchange. In a recent interview with Bloomberg on Tuesday, Cohen said, “those are discussions we are happy to have.”
Nasdaq will offer exchange services under clear regulation
In his words, Nasdaq will consider launching its crypto exchange when there is greater regulatory clarity and mass adoption of cryptocurrencies by institutional investors. At the moment, the crypto market is fairly saturated with retail interest, according to Nasdaq’s executive vice president.
“Right now, on the retail side, the market is fairly saturated. There’s a number of exchanges servicing the retail customer base.”
Through the exchange, Nasdaq aims to enable execution capabilities for institutional investors to facilitate the movement and transfer of assets, and not just safekeeping.
On September 20th, Nasdaq made a big leap into the crypto market by establishing a new group charged with offering digital assets services to institutional investors. At the start, Nasdaq said it would offer Bitcoin and Ethereum custody services to the institutions.
While Nasdaq waits for the right signals for its crypto exchange, Cohen reiterated that they are currently focused on custody services. “We think if you can safely keep people’s assets, they will trust you to do everything else afterwards. So we will start with the foundational piece, we will build up from there,” he added.
Will institutions drive the next crypto revolution?
There seems to be a growing interest in the digital asset market from major traditional financial firms. Nasdaq is not the only mainstream platform looking to capture the emerging crypto market.
Last month, one of the largest US mutual fund companies, Fidelity Investments, announced it would begin offering retail investors access to bitcoin trading by November. Many believed the offering would accelerate more adoption of digital currencies. In August, the largest asset manager BlackRock also launched a private trust that will allow institutions to access the spot value of Bitcoin.
We believe this next wave of the revolution is going to be driven by mass institutional adoption.Ira Auerbach, the head of the Nasdaq Digital Assets unit.