On April 25th, CNBC reported that NASDAQ was open to becoming a cryptocurrency exchange. Adena Friedman, Nasdaq’s CEO, affirmed that once regulation and legislative policy surrounding cryptocurrency developed more comprehensively, Nasdaq would be open to becoming a platform to trade cryptocurrencies. In the past, NASDAQ has publicly supported Bitcoin, Stellar Lumens (because of its partnership with IBM), and Litecoin (because of its compatibility with the Blocknet protocol). In late-April, NASDAQ also already established a partnership with Winklevoss-founded cryptocurrency exchange, Gemini, granting Gemini NASDAQ’s surveillance technology.
“Certainly Nasdaq would consider becoming a crypto exchange over time,” — Adena Friedman, CEO of NASDAQ
According to multiple sources, it seems like Friedman is walking the walk and moving forward with launching a brand-new cryptocurrency exchange. According to Nathan Bentley from CryptoDaily, NASDAQ will partner up with DX.Exchange and offer a subscription based, fee-free trading platform. As of the now the fee will run about €10.00/month. Other key value propositions of the trading platform is the integration of NASDAQ’s security protocols, regulatory expertise, and matching engine (which use currently used by 70 exchanges around the world). DX.Exchange will only be fully licensed by the Estonian Financial Services Agency and a Cypriot market regulator (CySEC) before becoming fully available in the United States. Efforts are actively being made to obtain a federal license for the DX Exchange.
“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”— Adena Friedman, CEO of NASDAQ
According to Michael Pearl from financemagnates.com, the NASDAQ-powered crypto exchange is set to launch next month in June. Skowronski noted that working with NASDAQ would facilitate meeting regulatory standards, which could potentially prevent double count trading, fake volumes, and other common errors. The platform is slated to coins with the highest market capitalization (such as Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and Litecoin). The second phase of the launch will then include 20–25 more tokens with the next largest market capitalization (which would include both utility and security tokens). There will be a three-step due diligence process for coins to be included onto the exchange (first with an initial application, then with an interview, and then final verdict submitted by an in- house legal time after reviewing the token’s team and whitepaper). DX currently has 72 employees in Israel that are involved with R&D and launching the future iterations of the exchange.
One thing is most certain- more and more institutional players are getting into the space. The crypto currency community at large may be witnessing the early phases preceding widespread adoption by the masses. With a reputable financial institution like NASDAQ moving forward with a cryptocurrency exchange, it seems like a matter of time before more retail investors enter the space.