Nasdaq willing to consider launch of crypto exchange

The company’s CEO says stock exchange operator would consider such move after regulatory regulation is ironed out

Nasdaq willing to consider launch of crypto exchange

The world’s second-largest stock exchange Nasdaq is open to the idea of becoming a platform for trading digital currencies, the company’s chief executive officer Adena Friedman indicated in a recent interview with business news network CNBC.

"Certainly Nasdaq would consider becoming a crypto exchange over time," Friedman told CNBC's Squawk Box on Wednesday. "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."

Adding a cryptocurrency trading service is unlikely to happen anytime soon, however, as the company wants proper regulatory frameworks for the sector to be developed before considering the move. Nevertheless, Friedman is optimistic about the future of the crypto space.

“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," she told CNBC. "Once you look at it and say, 'do we want to provide a regulated market for this?' Certainly Nasdaq would consider it.”

Friedman indicated that she is less optimistic about initial coin offerings, the controversial fundraising method that allows companies and individuals to issue and sell their own tokens.

"ICOs need to be regulated," she said, as quoted by CNBC. "The SEC is right that those are securities and need to be regulated as such."

Nasdaq, which has a large focus on technology companies, already supports some existing cryptocurrency exchanges. Yesterday, the company announced a partnership with digital currency trading platform Gemini, founded by early bitcoin investors Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss. Under the terms of the agreement, Gemini will receive access to Nasdaq’s surveillance technology to help make sure the platform provides a fair and "rules-based marketplace," for their own participants, Gemini chief executive officer Tyler Winklevoss said in a statement said in a statement.

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