The top brass of the world’s second-largest exchange, NASDAQ, in an talk show announced that the stock exchange is open to becoming a cryptocurrency exchange in the future.
Adena Friedman, the CEO of NASDAQ, said on CNBC’s premarket talk show, Squawk Box, that she saw NASDAQ becoming a cryptocurrency exchange in the future. Here is what she said on the show;
“Certainly Nasdaq would consider becoming a crypto exchange over time. If we do look at it and say ‘it’s time, people are ready for a more regulated market,’ for something that provides a fair experience for investors.”
According to Friedman, the biggest hindrances on NASDAQ’s way to becoming a cryptocurrency exchange immediately is the space’s lack of regulation and institutional investor pressure.
The crypto space is largely unregulated and because there is no actual ‘issuer’ of coins in the market, it is hard to integrate the market with pre-existing laws. The underlying technology of the crypto market; the blockchain, is also quite complex and needs a lot of studies to understand how things work. And that is not something everyone is open to at the moment.
It was never and still is no secret that most established government and financial institutions detest the crypto market. Because though it may be revolutionary, at the heart of matters it is destructive too. People have never been welcoming of new technologies, let alone one that could potentially change systems that have been in place for decades.
NASDAQ is the second largest stock exchange, second only to The New York Stock Exchange, has a lot of institutional investors who won’t be very happy about the shift until some considerable regulations are put into place. Friedman also said a lot of ironing out will be required before their key institutional investors get on board with this future that NASDAQ sees.
However, the lack of regulation is the biggest roadblock in NASDAQ’s way. And until such time regulations are made, NASDAQ will continue providing support to exchanges that already exist. Only this week, NASDAQ announced a partnership with an exchange called Gemini, offering them access to NASDAQ’s surveillance technology.
Friedman also went on to express deep concern and disdain with the crypto market’s chosen method for fundraising, namely the initial coin offering. She commended the SEC’s crackdown on fraudulent ICOs in the first quarter of the year and went on to say that the ICO route needs to be better thought out and regulated for NASDAQ gets on board with it.
Having said that, apart from Friedman’s problem with ICOs and the way they are conducted, she believes that the digital currency industry and market are here to stay and she is quite optimistic about it too.
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