May 19, 2024


Nasdaq plans to wait for further clarity in terms of crypto adoption globally, the company’s executive vice president and head of North American markets said.

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Tal Cohen said that the world’s second-largest stock exchange is awaiting greater regulatory clarity and institutional adoption around crypto exchanges before planning to launch a platform of its own.

“Those are discussions we are happy to have,” Cohen told Bloomberg TV on Tuesday. 

“But right now, on the retail side, the market is fairly saturated,” he added. “There’s a number of exchanges servicing the retail customer base.”

Nasdaq instead plans to stay focused on its crypto custody services. Cohen said that these services are foundational for clients, citing “massive” demand ad opportunity there.

“We think if you can safe-keep peoples’ assets, they’ll trust you to do everything else afterwards,” he said.

Cohen added that along with safe-keeping services, Nasdaq is working on facilitating the movement and transfer of the assets by building out its execution capabilities.

In September, Nasdaq announced it would offer custody services for Bitcoin and Ether to institutional investors. To do so, the firm hired Ira Auerbach, who ran prime broker services at crypto exchange Gemini, to head the new Nasdaq Digital Assets unit.

The primary target market for the Nasdaq exchange is institutional investors, as adoption has grown remarkably amongst these classes in the past few years. While accumulating crypto is one thing, safeguarding them is another, and company-owned funds are not supposed to be handled by solely one person.

According to Blockchain.News, This calls for the need for custodial services. While exchanges like Coinbase, Gemini, and Kraken are already dominating the crypto custody space for institutional investors, many believe Nasdaq is not yet late to the party.

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