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The path to mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies is fast approaching, as financial institutions, nations, central banks, and other international organizations get involved. NASDAQ might lead this institutional adoption by listing crypto trading soon. In early 2018, Nasdaq CEO, Adena Friedman, hinted at the trading giant’s goal to add cryptocurrencies to their platform. According to sources, that could be as early as Q2 2019.
Though not an official announcement, information from some “highly reliable sources,” according to ICO Journal, confirms that NASDAQ will add crypto trading in the first half of 2019, with BTC and ETH to be listed first.
Listing cryptocurrencies would position Nasdaq among the rare breed of incumbent financial firms that value innovation, but multiple legal bottlenecks first need to be addressed. Nasdaq’s main worry is centered on how these crypto assets will be categorized from a legal perspective, especially as bitcoin ETFs are debated amongst regulators.
According to the anonymous ICO Journal source:
“The conversation around listing coins has centered on how they will be classified from a regulatory standpoint. As you can imagine, our leadership is closely connected to the rumbling at the SEC and CFTC around cryptos and what is expected over the next 3-6 months. Even with the longest of time frames assumed, some guidance will be provided and I expect we will act quickly.”
Nasdaq’s Crypto Journey Didn’t Start Today
In April this year, Nasdaq’s CEO, Adena Friedman, declared the company’s intention to enter into cryptocurrency trading once the market matures.
On CNBC’s Squawk Box, Friedman said, “Certainly Nasdaq would consider becoming a crypto exchange over time.” Adding that she believes that “digital currencies will continue to persist it’s just a matter of how long it will take for that space to mature.”
For the Future of Crypto
This move indicates that Nasdaq believes cryptocurrencies have a bright future ahead. Nasdaq is the second largest stock exchange with $10 trillion in market capitalization. As the first stock exchange to become electronic and first to offer online stock trading, Nasdaq is a company that chases innovation.
When listed, this will up cryptocurrencies not just to mainstream usage, but also to institutional investors who fear to engage in crypto trade because of the high risks involved. Nasdaq’s endorsements will help quell those concerns. The “Big Money” is undoubtedly coming to the crypto industry.