On Wednesday, Nasdaq CEO Adena Friedman suggested that Nasdaq could be open to “becoming a crypto exchange” at some point in the future, provided that the industry continues to mature and gain stability. Friedman made the comment during a Wednesday appearance on CNBC’s Squawk Box, noting that there were still industry issues that would need to be addressed before Nasdaq could consider adding that type of trading platform.
Friedman was asked about her thoughts on providing an exchange and liquidity for cryptocurrencies “if and when they become regulated and they’re compliant.” She responded by saying that Nasdaq’s initial blockchain focus is on the company’s technology and noted that Nasdaq had announced earlier on Wednesday that the Gemini exchange was going to use that technology to better ensure a fair market for its customers.
The Nasdaq CEO then said that there were no plans to become a crypto exchange in the near future, since the industry is not yet regulated. Effective regulation and industry maturation could change that calculation, however:
"Over time, though, if we do look at it and say, 'it's time, people are ready for a more regulated market,' for something that really provides a fair experience for investors, certainly Nasdaq would consider becoming a crypto exchange – over time.”
Friedman also expressed optimism about the industry, suggesting that crypto is currently enduring growing pains but is something that is here to stay:
"I believe that digital currencies are something that will continue to persist and it's just a matter of how long will it take for that space to mature. And then once you look at it and say, 'do we want to provide a regulated market for this?' Certainly, Nasdaq would consider it."