Nasdaq CEO Adena Friedman made comments on Wednesday indicating the New York-based securities exchange would consider trading cryptocurrencies once regulations have become more stable.
Friedman told CNBC's Squawk Box, “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.”
Several figures in the cryptocurrency industry commented on the remark, reacting positively to the idea of a more developed regulatory atmosphere.
CEO of UK-based Energi Mine Omar Rahim commented, “The news that Nasdaq is open to becoming a cryptocurrency exchange once the space has matured is a hugely positive sign that greater regulation will spur greater mainstream adoption and recognition. Given Nasdaq’s current role supporting Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss’s cryptocurrency exchange Gemini, it is in an excellent position to provide much needed stability to the turbulent and often difficult to understand crypto-space. The simple fact is we need regulation for the industry to move forward. No one in the industry wants this to be the Wild West. The cryptocurrency community agrees that we need regulation to move forwards, and in the future working with Nasdaq could be an important step in creating such regulation, and the stability it provides.”
OECD Think Tank Special Advisor and Shyft Chairman Joseph Weinberg stated, “[Should Nasdaq become a crypto exchange] this could be a great thing! Regulation, again, is a massive roadblock to something like this happening. You need to solve and create an informed model on self-regulation. By that, I mean how do you operate a bitcoin “marketplace” while at the same time enable a security token exchange? SROs [self-regulatory organizations] take years to build from scratch. It's not an easy process, but the entity that cracks it unlocks the holy grail in completing the bridge between traditional and the crypto ecosystem.
“There's a division right now between crypto marketplaces and security token exchanges. However, because it's all within the same asset class, a proper exchange should be both. Like the derivatives market, it's highly complex. For example, if you move from a derivative to a future, those are two entirely different models, but it's effectively two changes in one. Not to mention that crypto tokens present a tonne of edge cases in how they function, which makes the models quite different from the traditional way of thinking about exchanges.
Friedman concluded, “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.”