Nasdaq CEO: “ We consider creating a cryptocurrency exchange”
Nasdaq Stock Market, the second-largest exchange in the world by market capitalisation ($9 trillion, behind only the New York Stock Exchange) has recently announced the interest in increasing its presence on the digital market. In an interview for CNBC’s Squawk Box, CEO Adena Friedman indicated that the company might open a platform for cryptocurrency exchanges once the market matures.
Being asked regarding the Nasdaq Board’s position on cryptocurrencies, particularly from the point of view of the service provider, Friedman declared: “I would definitely say that […] digital currencies will continue to persist. It’s just a matter of how long it will take for that space to mature. Once you look at it and say, ‘ do we want to provide a regulated market for this?’, certainly, Nasdaq would consider it.”
While being optimistic regarding the eventual fate of digital currencies, Friedman seems to be less so on the process of gathering of funds known as an initial coin offering (ICO), stating that they are securities and need to be regulated accordingly.
The main obstruction at present for both Nasdaq and other investors to become crypto exchanges is regulation, which she stated needs to be settled before the company would go down this road: “Over time though, if we do look at it and say people are ready for a more regulated market for something that provides a fair experience for investors, certainly Nasdaq would consider becoming a crypto exchange.”
Meanwhile, Nasdaq is supporting existing cryptocurrencies by announcing a technology collaboration with the crypto exchange Gemini, founded in 2015 by the Winklevoss twins (Tyler and Cameron). The arrangement will give Gemini access to Nasdaq’s surveillance technology, in an effort to insure the platform provides a “fair and rules-based marketplace”.
In addition, Nasdaq is host to several blockchain-based ETFs (Exchange Trading Funds that invest exclusively in companies that have business operations in blockchain technology or those which profit from them) and public companies that focus on these. Also, the company itself works continuously on creating new technology applications, as seen through their patent-filling records, like for instance a patent filled in October 2017 for a data-matching system meant to track trades and clearing positions by using the blockchain technology.