- Nasdaq competes with established crypto players such as Coinbase to attract institutional investors.
- The stock market operator offers crypto custody as well as expands its services.
- It has hired Gemini alum, Ira Auerbach, to run its digital division.
Institutional investors will be offered custody services for Bitcoin and Ether through this new initiative. With this move, Nasdaq, the second-largest U.S. stock market operator, will offer institutional clients in the U.S. the same services that crypto firms such as Coinbase, Anchorage Digital, and BitGo provide to small financial firms.
The new unit is headed by Ira Auerbach, who oversaw prime broker services at Gemini, one of the leading cryptocurrency exchanges. However, Nasdaq has indicated that it does not have any immediate plans to launch a crypto exchange but will analyze the opportunity based on the regulatory environment and competitive landscape, according to a report.
Nasdaq Digital Assets will initially develop a custody solution that will incorporate liquidity and execution services. Custody solution will bring together attributes of both hot and cold crypto wallets through this offering.
The latest move by Nasdaq illustrates how some of Wall Street's biggest names are betting on cryptocurrency. In August, BlackRock partnered with Coinbase Global Inc to make it easier for investors to trade Bitcoin. Last week, financial behemoths Charles Schwab, Citadel Securities, and Fidelity Digital Assets announced launching a bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchange.