ICO News: Nasdaq Exec Acknowledges “Very Young” ICOs

on Nov 7, 2017

Upcoming ICOs are on the radar of a top exec at a leading US stock exchange. Bruce Aust, Nasdaq’s vice chair, is touting the merits of a public listing on the US exchange over doing an upcoming ICO. While he points to the risks associated with token sales, including acknowledging the deal flow as “very young,” the fact that upcoming ICOs are on his radar is a telling sign for the category, according to CNBC.

In addition to upcoming ICOs being a nascent category, which is already known, Aust pointed to other risks tied to the deals, such as a lack of regulation, which he was quick to compare to the regulated nature of Nasdaq. Despite their youth, ICOs have raked in more than USD 3.2 billion so far. EY data cited in CNBC suggests that IPOs have raised nearly USD 127 billion through the first three quarters of this year.

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Aust expects a day when upcoming ICOs are a regulated market, which he suggests will happen “at some point” and which would validate the deals even further. ICOs compete with IPOs for capital, although as cryptocurrencies mature it has become clear that publicly traded companies are not opposed to doing a token sale as well. 

Meanwhile, it’s not the first time that a Nasdaq executive has spoken out about upcoming ICOs, with Nasdaq chief Adena Friedman recently panning the deals as “bleeding edge technology” that the all electronic exchange tends to avoid.

The Sky Is the Limit 

Another Wall Street executive is also talking cryptocurrencies. Credit Suisse CEO Tidjane Thiam in recent days used the illustration of bitcoin “as the very definition of a bubble,” according to Bloomberg. He also said the top cryptocurrency and blockchain technology are something he can’t afford to ignore.

The Swiss bank is looking into how blockchain can be applied to the syndicated loan market for quicker and less costly settlements in this segment. Another Credit Suisse exec recently touted the blockchain’s role in banking as a technology for which the “sky is the limit,” and may help to explain why so many upcoming ICOs are looking to address the inefficiencies in the financial markets.