Nasdaq, the world’s second-largest stock exchange with a $9 trillion market cap, is open to launching a cryptocurrency exchange in the future as the regulatory environment evolves, the head of the exchange operator said on Wednesday.
The view that cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin BTC=BTSP will be a future way to support commerce is becoming more mainstream, Nasdaq’s Chief Executive Officer, Adena Friedman, said in an interview following the announcement of better-than-expected quarterly earnings.
Nasdaq CEO Adena Friedman told CNBC,
“Certainly Nasdaq would consider becoming a crypto exchange over time. If we do look at it and say ‘it’s time, people are ready for a more regulated market,’ for something that provides a fair experience for investors.”
But the virtual currencies are still very lightly regulated. That is part of the appeal to many early adopters but would have to change in order for Nasdaq to operate a cryptocurrency exchange, Friedman said.
However, Friedman didn’t particularly seem as enthusiastic about initial coin offering, or ICO. She said,
“ICOs need to be regulated. The SEC is right that those are securities and need to be regulated as such.”
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has cracked down on ICO fraud in 2018, and said in March it is looking to apply securities laws to everything from cryptocurrency exchanges to digital asset storage companies known as wallets. SEC Chairman Jay Clayton said the watchdog is devoting a “significant portion of resources” to the ICO market.
On Wednesday, the company announced a collaboration with cryptocurrency exchange Gemini, founded by early bitcoin investors Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss. The deal gives Gemini access to Nasdaq’s surveillance technology to help make sure the platform provides a fair and “rules-based marketplace,” for their own participants, Gemini CEO Tyler Winklevoss said in a statement.
People who are an active part of stock exchange business might be definitely looking forward to Nazdaq’s move on trading cryptocurrencies.
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