As the world awaits the ICE/Bakkt venture aimed at creating the world’s first federally-regulated exchange for institutional cryptocurrency trading, rumor has it that NASDAQ may be entering the arena as a formidable competitor.
If sources are correct, NASDAQ is moving forward with its plans to build a regulated and institutional-grade ecosystem for crypto exchange governance and order execution. Should NASDAQ succeed, it would become the world’s first “exchange proper” to list cryptocurrencies on a marketplace renowned for its more conventional financial products.
NASDAQ’s move takes place amidst a profusion of crossover maneuvering by scores of traditional and alternative financial institutions. But while most are seeking to enter the crypto space via tamer routes, such as partnerships or derivatives trading, NASDAQ’s angle comes at a much steeper, more direct, and bolder angle: they aim to list actual cryptocurrencies–not their derivatives–directly on their world-class platform.
To be clear, NASDAQ has not officially announced this move. Information from an insider source from NASDAQ who is close to this project informed ICO Journal as to NASDAQ’s specific plans and timelines. Quoting from the ICO Journal:
“The conversation around listing coins has centered on how they will be classified from a regulatory standpoint. As you can imagine, our leadership is closely connected to the rumbling at the SEC and CFTC around cryptos and what is expected over the next 3-6 months. Even with the longest of time frames assumed, some guidance will be provided, and I expect we will act quickly. The framework (two different sets of the framework based on two different regulatory outcomes) has already been laid to create a separate silo for coin listings and a robust trading apparatus. Doing the math here, look for regulatory bodies to provide guidance in Q1 of 2019, and an announcement and a ‘coin exchange’ to either be announced or launched in Q2 of 2019.”
According to Bloomberg reports, NASDAQ held a closed-door meeting in Chicago last month, its participants consisting of executives from several crypto businesses and exchanges. Their focus was on developing ways to legitimize the image and encourage the adoption of cryptocurrencies in global markets.
Gunning for the top spot among traditional exchanges
While NASDAQ has not yet officially announced this new venture, ICE and Bakkt had announced its aim to create an exchange that would transform Bitcoin and other cryptos into a globally-trusted currency.
Shortly after that, the Stuttgart Borse, the second largest stock exchange in Germany, announced plans to develop an ICO (Initial Coin Offering) platform in addition to providing its infrastructure for cryptocurrency trading. And last July, the SIX Swiss Exchange also announced its plans to create a blockchain-driven venue for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
As large exchanges enter the crypto sphere, can this trend be a sign of an industry evolving toward the early stages of maturity? And will the adoption of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies by established exchanges persuade institutional money to flow into this emerging financial realm?
Whatever the outcome, we will undoubtedly find out much sooner than later.