“I think that this is going to happen sooner rather than later,” says Nasdaq CEO on cryptocurrency.
Nasdaq Chief Executive Officer Adena Friedman told CNBC that they are open to considering trading in cryptocurrencies once regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Nasdaq already has a blockchain platform in place to make the move into Bitcoin, Ether and other top coins.
Friedman reminded everyone to forget the fact that Bitcoin and other major cryptocurrencies all fell on Wednesday, and this is a legit market.
Bitcoin and other coins are more than a new reality, a new market trend. They are new currencies and methods of payment. As a result, many traditional investors have concluded they need to be in crypto. Nasdaq lends more credence to that notion.
“I believe that digital currencies will continue to persist…it’s just a matter of how long it will take for that space to mature,” Friedman said on CBNC today. “Once you look at it and say, ‘do we want to provide a regulated market for this?’ Certainly, Nasdaq would consider it.”
Nasdaq is already supporting existing crypto exchanges. On Wednesday, the company announced a collaboration with cryptocurrency exchange Gemini, founded by early bitcoin investors Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss.
Over the few months, they partnered with San Diego based ETF firm, Reality Shares, to launch two blockchain-related funds. The latest is scheduled to come to market in June.
“If you were to rank interest in cryptocurrency on a scale of zero to 10, Friedman would be a six,” says Eric Ervin, CEO of Reality Shares. “She would help get the SEC comfortable with cryptocurrency trading. She would not passively wait for them to get on board,” he says. “If the SEC wanted her opinion, she would give it a thumbs up.”
Freidman’s comments are not to be taken to mean that Nasdaq has a cryptocurrency exchange mechanism in the works. It does not. It does, however, have a Bitcoin futures contract in the works. Foreign securities exchanges are also looking into making cryptocurrency tradable.
The Moscow Stock Exchange said last year that it was building a platform to allow for trading once the regulations are in place.
George Soros’ $26 billion wealth management firm is planning to trade digital assets.