Nasdaq has become the latest firm to express its interest in cryptocurrency trading – but only after the market matures. In an interview with CNBC, Nasdaq CEO Adena Friedman expressed her confidence in the long term prospects of Bitcoin and other 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,” she said in the interview on Wednesday.
However, like many institutions who have expressed interest in the space, the lack of regulation remains a major hurdle to making the ultimate decision.
“Once you look at it and say, ‘do we want to provide a regulated market for this?’ Certainly, Nasdaq would consider it,” Ms. Friedman told CNBC.
On Wednesday, Gemini Trust, the cryptocurrency exchange owned by the Winklevoss twins announced it was deploying Nasdaq’s SMARTS market surveillance technology to help detect market manipulation and fraud.
Last week, the New York Attorney’s General office requested cryptocurrency exchanges to provide information on what measures they were taking to prevent vices such as money laundering and market manipulation.
Goldman Sachs has also been making forays with the hiring of a cryptocurrency trader, Justin Schmidt to head its digital assets markets, a newly created division.
Earlier George Soros authorised his wealth management firm to trade in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Venrock, a company associated with the Rockefellers has also partnered with a crypto assets hedge fund.
Barclays is reportedly planning to set up a crypto trading desk as well as more financial firms line up to take advantage of the lucrative industry.
Cryptocurrency prices have spiked in the last two weeks amid speculation of the possible entry by an institutional investor.
There is still uncertainty over regulations governing the sector. The SEC has indicated that it treats cryptocurrencies as securities.
The market dipped on Wednesday after at least two weeks of strong performance. The market is now worth more than $400 billion. Bitcoin is trading at just over $8900 after a high of $9736 on Wednesday. On April 12, Bitcoin was trading at $6827 before dramatically shooting up. At one point, it gained more than $1000 within an hour. In the two weeks since then, it has gained about &2100.
The agency has been cracking down on initial coin offerings since the beginning of the year after the sector was hit by several fraudulent projects.