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 hired Ira Auerbach, a former Gemini employee, to head the new Nasdaq Digital Assets unit.
The main reason the new Nasdaq Digital Assets Unit was targeted toward institutional investors is the remarkable growth in crypto adoption among this class of investors in the past few years. While investing in cryptocurrencies is one thing, safeguarding the accumulated crypto holdings is another and company-owned crypto funds require special handling thus the need for custodial services.
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.
No plans for a Nasdaq crypto platform yet
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.
Speaking to Bloomberg TV, Cohen said:
“Those are discussions we are happy to have. But right now, on the retail side, the market is fairly saturated. There’s a number of exchanges servicing the retail customer base.”
Nasdaq instead plans to stick to its crypto custody services citing massive demand and opportunity from customers.
“We think if you can safe-keep peoples’ assets, they’ll trust you to do everything else afterwards.”
Cohen also said that besides the custody services, the stock exchange was working on facilitating the transfer of digital assets.