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21st September 2022 > > Nasdaq.

Updated: Sep 23, 2022


Nasdaq launches its new crypto focussed subsidiary aimed at institutional investors.

Market Snap

Market Wrap

Russia’s farcical attempt to legitimise its illegal annexation of swathes of Ukraine by holding referendums in what are effectively war zones (fair and open votes anyone?) has led to a slew of analysts predicting that the risk of the use of tactical nuclear weapons in Ukraine has just increased markedly.

This is not a benign environment for cryptos.

Curious Cryptos’ Commentary – Nasdaq

Nasdaq has been the stock exchange home to some of the most extraordinarily successful companies during the IT and internet revolution. Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Meta, Google, NVIDIA, PayPal, Intel – the list is seemingly endless. Nasdaq is the second largest exchange when ranked by market capitalisation of stocks traded, and itself is worth nearly $30 billion.

Finally – and I am a little surprised it has taken this long – the company is making its first foray into the crypto world with a new subsidiary named Nasdaq Digital Assets. You can read the press release here:

I quote:

“The launch underpins Nasdaq’s ambition to advance and help facilitate broader institutional participation in digital assets by providing trusted and institutional-grade solutions, focused on enhanced custody, liquidity and integrity.”

Subject to regulatory approval (one should be in doubt that this issue is already in hand) the motivation for this new business line and revenue stream is due to institutional demand, according to Tal Cohen, Executive Vice President and Head of North American Markets, Nasdaq:

“Demand among institutional investors for engaging in digital assets has increased in recent years, and Nasdaq is well-positioned to accelerate broader adoption and drive sustainable growth.”

I like the sound of that ambition.

A key area of focus is combating the rise of crime in the crypto space. Jamie King, Executive Vice President, Head of Anti-Financial Crime, Nasdaq:

“Our expanded suite of anti-financial crime solutions reinforces our commitment to protecting the integrity of the financial system. As the world of digital assets evolves and converges with traditional finance, it is crucial to provide the necessary portfolio of technology solutions designed to safeguard participants across the financial ecosystem.”

Note that Jamie makes the point that cryptos are complementary to TradFi (and by extension fiat), and not a replacement, a point which is often misunderstood by both crypto maximalists, and those who fear decentralisation as a concept and a tool to enhance personal liberty and to provide dramatic economic improvements for humankind in general.

Make no mistake, institutional adoption of cryptos is happening, right here, right now.

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