The second-largest stock exchange, Nasdaq, is venturing into the crypto sector for the first time, open to collaborating with crypto firms.
The exchange platform states it will aim to facilitate digital assets when it comes to investing through its custody services of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Nasdaq’s move emphasises the evolving adoption of cryptocurrencies and digital assets amongst Wall Street’s largest companies, looking to diversify their investment stock options. Coinbase, a crypto exchange platform, recently partnered with BlackRock to make it possible for investors to trade with Bitcoin.
Bloomberg first reported of Nasdaq’s crypto ambitions as its new Digital Assets Unit Head, Ira Auerbach, commented on the stock exchanges plans: “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.”
Nasdaq’s latest move will offer competition to other crypto exchange platforms, such as Coinbase, once receiving approval from the New York Department of Financial Services to become a crypto custodian.
Plans to launch are not immediate however, as the exchange platform will evaluate opportunities once the regulatory environment and crypto landscape settles. This may be in light of the Biden Administrations release of the US’ first ever crypto regulatory framework a matter of days ago.
This was announced by Nasdaq Executive VP, Tal Cohen, who spoke to Bloomberg last May on clouds surrounding crypto regulation in the US.
He stated: “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.”
Both Cohen and Auerbach have expressed interest for Nasdaq to explore opportunities of working with crypto-native firms in the future, as the stock exchange looks to build its digital asset unit by the end of the year.