Nasdaq CEO Open to Creating Cryptocurrency Exchange, Announces Tech Deal with Gemini

Shannon Stapleton / Reuters

Nasdaq (NDAQ) CEO Adena Friedman told CNBC’s Squawk Box Wednesday that she is open to building a Nasdaq cryptocurrency exchange.

“Certainly Nasdaq would consider becoming a crypto exchange over time. If we do look at it and say ‘it’s time, people are ready for a more regulated market,’ for something that provides a fair experience for investors.”

While Friedman believes that the highly volatile area of Independent Coin Offerings (ICOs) is in need of stricter regulations and that the SEC needs to continue its crackdown on fraud, she is very bullish on the future of cryptocurrencies. “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,” Friedman said. “Once you look at it and say, ‘do we want to provide a regulated market for this?’ Certainly, Nasdaq would consider it.”

In the meantime, Nasdaq is supporting existing crypto exchanges and announced a technology collaboration with Winklevoss-led Gemini on Wednesday. This deal gives Gemini access to Nasdaq’s investor surveillance and compliance technologies to help create a fairer marketplace for its users. According to the press release, Nasdaq’s senior VP Valerie Bannert-Thurner believes the collaboration is an exciting use of Nasdaq’s market technology.

“Being regulated by the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYSDFS), Gemini is held to the utmost standards in terms of capital reserve requirements. This is a major milestone in the application of SMARTS – and an important indicator of our commitment to expand the use of our market technology into non-traditional marketplaces, as well as new frontiers beyond the capital markets.”

This news drops shortly after several major institutional investors announced plans to move fully into cryptocurrency investing, including venture capital powerhouse Andreessen Horowitz and the fund tied to famous billionaire investor George Soros.

More: Nasdaq is open to becoming cryptocurrency exchange, CEO says
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