In September, the world’s second-largest stock exchange Nasdaq announced that it will offer custody services for Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) to institutional investors. Nasdaq has hired Ira Auerbach (a former Gemini employee) to lead the new Nasdaq digital assets unit.
The reason that the new Nasdaq Digital Assets Unit is targeted at institutional investors is because of the extraordinary growth in crypto adoption over the past few years. Investment in crypto is one thing. However, it is not easy to protect crypto assets. Crypto funds owned by companies require special handling.
While many crypto exchanges already offer crypto custody services for institutional investors, many believe the institutional investors’ space is largely neglected and Nasdaq is not late for the party.
There are no plans yet for a Nasdaq cryptocurrency platform
Despite Nasdaq jumping into the crypto space with the crypto custody services, the company’s executive vice president and head of North American markets, Tal Cohen, said that the company shall wait for further clarity in crypto regulations and global crypto adoption before it decides on whether to launch a crypto platform.
Cohen stated the following to Bloomberg TV:
“Those are discussions we are happy to have. The retail side of the market is pretty saturated right now. There’s a number of exchanges servicing the retail customer base.”
Instead, Nasdaq plans to continue to offer its crypto custody services, citing huge demand and potential customers.
“We think if you can safe-keep peoples’ assets, they’ll trust you to do everything else afterwards.”
Cohen said that, aside from the custody services provided by the stock exchange, the stock market was working to facilitate digital asset transfers.