Nasdaq Stock Exchange Opens Crypto Custody Service
According to a press statement issued on Tuesday, Nasdaq, the second-largest stock market operator in the United States, is launching a cryptocurrency custody service in order to capitalize on the demand from institutional crypto investors.
Tal Cohen, head of North American markets at Nasdaq, said in the release:
“Demand among institutional investors for engaging in digital assets has increased in recent years, and Nasdaq is well-positioned to accelerate broader adoption and drive sustainable growth.”
This entry into cryptocurrency is part of a larger trend on Wall Street. BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, said last month that it will provide cryptocurrencies to its institutional customers, while Depository Trust & Clearing Corp., which handles nearly all U.S. stock market trading, published its own blockchain in an effort to speed up trade settlement.
If launched successfully, the stock exchange will compete directly with exchanges Coinbase, sAnchorage Digital, and BitGo for the holdings of Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) of institutional customers in the US.
Nasdaq is open to partnering with mainstream crypto companies, although they do not have any acquisition plans in the short term, Bloomberg provided further information.
The move is the latest development on Nasdaq’s stance on cryptocurrencies, following the listing of an ETF with exposure to Valkyrie’s Bitcoin mining operations earlier in the year. Historically, the exchange has been a provider of custodial technology for crypto market participants rather than operating the platform itself. The exchange also launched the Nasdaq Crypto Index ETF.
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