There has been an exciting announcement for the crypto sphere as the CEO of Nasdaq suggested the company could create a digital currency exchange further down the road. The subject came up in an interview with CNBC and it seems it is only a matter of time (and clearing some of the current obstacles) before it happens. The most significant hurdle right now seems to be the lack of clear and universal regulation, which hinders the development of crypto markets.
Adeda Friedman, CEO of the Nasdaq exchange, told 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. Once you look at it and say, ‘do we want to provide a regulated market for this?’ Certainly, Nasdaq would consider it.“
Nasdaq is already quite supportive of crypto companies as it has partnered a blockchain startup Chain, which helps developers build Bitcoin apps. In addition to that, the company has collaborated with Reality Shares to develop two blockchain-focused funds, the latest of which is scheduled for a launch in June. On Wednesday, Nasdaq announced a partnership with crypto exchange Gemini, which is owned by the Winklevoss twins. Such developments clearly show Nasdaq’s optimism on the future of virtual currencies as they believe the crypto sphere is poised to grow and expand.
Ms. Friedman was less optimistic about ICOs though, as she believes they should be considered as securities, which is a hotly contested debate in the crypto world. According to her, “ICOs need to be regulated. The SEC is right that those are securities and need to be regulated as such.” The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has recently cracked down on ICOs, has announced its plans to apply securities laws to a variety of crypto-related products, ranging from exchanges to wallets.
It seems the only hurdle that is stopping big money investors from entering the crypto market is the clear SEC regulation that is still under development. SEC Chairman Jay Clayton said the institutional watchdog is devoting a significant amount of resources to the cause and we might see the results soon.
In any case, some of the big names, such as Soros Fund Management or Venrock (Rockefeller family personal wealth fund) have already entered the crypto markets, which could spur the surge of more conservative investors who still consider them too volatile to a be a viable investment opportunity.
Perhaps the current crypto hype among the big players was best illustrated by Ziad Abdelnour, President and CEO of Blackhawk Partners. He told Forbes that, “If you think it’s too late to participate in what could be the most profitable market of all time, you are dead wrong. The industry is still in its infancy despite the explosive growth over the last year. There are hundreds of cryptocurrencies available – the trick is finding those that have the best odds of becoming viable long term.“
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