NASDAQ Holds Closed-Door Meeting to Legitimize Cryptocurrency

by Seth Mek on July 31, 2018

With emerging regulation and institutional solutions, Wall Street is slowly adopting cryptocurrencies as a legitimate digital asset class. On July 27, 2018, Nasdaq held a closed-door meeting with traditional exchange and cryptocurrency company executives to discuss the future of the nascent sector.

Nasdaq hosted a secret meeting in Chicago with representatives from half a dozen cryptocurrency companies and traditional exchanges. Gemini exchange co-founders, Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss attended the meeting following news that their recent Bitcoin ETF application was rejected by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). During the meeting, attendees discussed the implications of future cryptocurrency regulations and what tools and surveillance technologies would be required in the onset of regulated security token markets. According to Bloomberg, Nasdaq plans to hold similar meetings in the future for an ongoing discussion among attendees.

With an industry-forward stance on cryptocurrency, Nasdaq CEO Adena Friedman has already taken action to help cryptocurrency exchanges advance their security systems. In early July 2018, Gemini digital asset exchange partnered with Nasdaq to monitor Bitcoin and Ether trading through Nasdaq’s SMARTS Market Surveillance systems. Earlier this week, Nasdaq disclosed that it is supplying five crypto exchanges with market surveillance technologies, including SBI Virtual Currencies and Gemini among others. Friedman recently expressed optimism for the growing digital economy, sharing that she believes cryptocurrency is the “right next step in the space of currency” and that its underlying technology enables “more efficient” value transfer across borders.

“How it evolves and which of the cryptocurrencies may or may not be the one that ultimately gets embraced, I think that really the jury is still out on that. But I do think the idea of a more globalized payment mechanism that is more efficient than what we have today allows for money to transfer across countries and certainly supports the Internet economy.”

Friedman told CNBC’s Squawk Box that Nasdaq would even consider operating a cryptocurrency exchange once the sector matures and regulations settle.

In the interview, Friedman was asked if she believed in cryptocurrencies, to which she replied:

“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.” 

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