CEO of Nasdaq Adena Friedman says that once the digital asset space matures, the platform is open to becoming a cryptocurrency exchange. Executives are predominantly waiting for regulation efforts to “smooth over” before they make any official decisions.
Change Needs to Occur First
“Certainly, Nasdaq would consider becoming a crypto exchange over time,” explained Friedman in an a new interview. Overall, she and her team remain positive about the future of crypto, though they admit they would feel a little more comfortable with it if it was more developed and steadfast.
“I believe that digital currencies will continue to persist,” she stated. “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.”
Not Everything is Safe
While bullish about virtual currencies themselves, Friedman proved skeptical of initial coin offerings (ICOs), and said that something drastic had to be done to get things in order.
“ICOs need to be regulated,” she commented. “The SEC is right that those are securities, and they need to be regulated as such.”
Friedman is referring to the fight between the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the “Venture Capital Working Group” – an association of lawyers, traders and crypto experts who want to see certain tokens classify as “utility tokens” rather than securities. What’s the difference? Securities would include all tokens distributed or marketed through ICO programs. This could subject them to extremely strict regulations, and cause massive drops in their prices. The group is working to ensure this doesn’t happen.
A Few Deals for the Future
Last Wednesday, Nasdaq entered a deal with New York-based Gemini Exchange, headed by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss. The deal ultimately gives the company access to Nasdaq’s surveillance technology to grant a “fair and rules-based marketplace” for its customers.
Nasdaq’s net income in quarter one rose to a whopping $177 million USD (roughly $1.05 per share) from $168 million ($0.99 per share) in 2017. Trading volumes experienced a massive spike, while revenue also rose by nearly 15 percent to over $650 million.
Let’s Keep an Open Mind
In the end, Friedman says that while digital currencies are becoming more mainstream, they still have a long and arduous journey up ahead:
“Over time, if it ultimately does morph into a regulated environment, it does give us an opportunity to participate as a marketplace, but I think that is a longer road, and it doesn’t have a certain path right now.”
Could the day come when Nasdaq supports all cryptocurrencies? Post your comments below.
Images via Pixabay, Nasdaq