Nasdaq is Open to One Day Becoming a Cryptocurrency Exchange


Once cryptocurrency regulations better develop and the space matures, Nasdaq would be open to becoming a cryptocurrency exchange, said its CEO in an interview on Wednesday.

Nasdaq CEO Adena Friedman was asked about her personal and professional position on cryptocurrencies by Squawk Box’s host Kevin O’Leary.

“A lot of people are frustrated that even if they go into the cryptocurrency market, they have no liquidity [at an] exchange, Nasdaq would be a natural place for that, would it not?”

Friedman responded to O’Leary, saying in part “It’s an unregulated space today, so it’s not something that we’ve decided to go into becoming a crypto exchange, but we are providing our technology now to other crypto exchanges.”  The technology she is referencing is Nasdaq’s surveillance tech, which will be used by Gemini to monitor Bitcoin and Ethereum trading pairs.  The technology will allow Gemini to track and flag unusual trading patterns and is currently being used by some of the largest stock exchanges in the world.

She added to her previous statement saying:

“Over time though, if we do look at it and say people are ready for a more regulated market for something that provides a fair experience for investors, certainly Nasdaq would consider becoming a crypto exchange, over time.”

O’Leary pressed for her personal opinion on cryptocurrencies, to which she bullishly responded, saying:

“I would definitely say that – 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. Once you look at it and say, ‘do we want to provide a regulated market for this?’ Certainly, Nasdaq would consider it.”

Nasdaq, which is currently the nation’s second largest stock exchange with a $9 trillion market cap, would provide unparalleled liquidity to the digital currencies that get listed on its exchange.  It would also provide a good entry for institutional money that may currently be worried about the liquidity and regulatory standing of existing exchanges.