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Crypto Execs Welcome Potential Nasdaq Entry

Traders Magazine Online News, May 2, 2018

John D'Antona Jr.

It might be time for the Big Kahuna to enter the marketplace.

Last week, Nasdaq’s Chief Executive Officer Adena Friedman said during the exchange operator’ quarterly conference call that the bourse is open to the very notion of moving from its equity market roots and becoming a cryptocurrency exchange – either in whole or part. Her comments came as regulators carefully examine the sector – the currencies themselves, the exchanges and marketplaces and even how these digital assets are funded.  She said the bourse could launch or migrate in part to a cryptocurrency exchange in the future as the regulatory environment evolves.

Adena Friedman, Nasdaq

Freidman, like other executives, has become keenly aware of the virtues of diversifying her exchange’s revenue stream and meeting the evolving needs of the financial marketplace. She made her comments following Nasdaq’s quarterly earnings call last week.

“Over time, if it ultimately does morph into a regulated environment, it does give us an opportunity to participate as a marketplace, but I think that is a longer road and it doesn’t have a certain path right now,” she said.

While some have likened the crypto-trading world to the Wild West in terms of risk, there are also those who see tremendous rewards as the asset class remains lightly regulated and ripe for innovation. But some are already applauding the possible entrance of a major global exchange entering the nascent world of crypto and bringing technology and prowess to the arena.

Joseph Weinberg, OECD Think Tank Special Advisor & Shyft Chairman told Traders Magazine that should Nasdaq become a crypto exchange, it would a major event.

Joseph Weinberg

"This (Nasdaq entering the sector) could be a great thing,” Weinberg began. “Regulation, again, is a massive roadblock to something like this happening. You need to solve and create an informed model on self-regulation. By that, I mean how do you operate a bitcoin "marketplace" while at the same time enable a security token exchange”

He explained that Self-Regulatory Organizations (SROs) such take years to build from scratch and that is where Nasdaq’s experience in trading/order execution can take the crypto world to the next level in terms of confidence, technology and security.

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