Nasdaq, the New York-based stock exchange is expanding into crypto services with Nasdaq Digital Assets Unit. The second largest stock exchange in the world is now dipping their toes into cryptocurrencies. But, these crypto custody services are solely reserved for institutional investors and is limited only to Bitcoin and Ethereum. This comes at a time when institutional investors seem less inclined to make any long-term crypto investments. However, their timid attitude can turn on a dime in case a sudden bull market appears. So, here is a safe bet by Nasdaq which has been consistently under performing this year.
All Aboard the Crypto Train!
According to a Bloomberg report, Nasdaq is going to offer Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) custody services to blue-chip investors. With that, their custody services are currently pending for approval from the New York Department of Financial Services. The crypto custody services will be a part of Nasdaq Digital Assets Unit which is a new addition to the exchange.
Based on the report, Nasdaq hired Ira Auerbach, as the head of the new Nasdaq Digital Assets Unit. Auerbach is a former executive of crypto exchange Gemini. And right out the box, he is bringing Gemini’s aggressive marketing literature into the spotlight. While using terms like “the next revolution” and “mass institutional adoption” Auerbach made an attempt to make waves.
“We believe this next wave of the revolution is going to be driven by mass institutional adoption. I can think of no better place to bring that trust and brand to the market than Nasdaq.” Said Auerbach.
While offering crypto custody services to institutional investors, Nasdaq is by no means a competitor in the crypto sector. Essentially, what Nasdaq has to offer is their name and 51 years of history. It is still unclear how fast Nasdaq wants to expand their services, but at least for now, they’re not a threat to the competition by any means.
Nasdaq Digital Assets Unit
Obviously, Nasdaq executives are already talking a big game about future expansion of the new unit. Despite that, everything will depend on the state of the market. Tai Cohen, Nasdaq’s executive vice president and head of north American markets (imagine his salary!) says that they have no immediate plans to start up a crypto exchange. Despite that, they are planning to expand their crypto-related services.
“Custody is foundational. Off the back of custody, we can start to develop other solutions, offer execution services, liquidity services, and think about how we support new markets.” Said Cohen.
As for the elephant in the room, Cohen did speak about the upcoming crypto regulations. According to Cohen, Nasdaq will embrace crypto regulations as it is a requirement for institutional investors.
“We know how to operate under regulatory regimes, and we continue to innovate under the rules of the road. Embracing regulation as it comes is something we do. And institutions want us to operate under that framework.”
Nasdaq’s custody services will be available following the approval by New York Department of Finance Services.