Nasdaq, the technology-focused stock exchange that oversaw the rise and fall of the dot-com industry, now says it is receptive to becoming a cryptocurrency exchange.
Launched in 1971 as the world’s first electronic stock market, Nasdaq today lists approximately 3,600 companies and lists more than half of the companies traded on U.S. markets.
It still hosts giant tech names, including Apple, Microsoft, Intel, Google and Oracle.
Taking on crypto could turn a fledgling asset currently trading in the near total dark of Internet anonymity into a publicly visible force in the global economy — nearly overnight.
The move also would largely strip crypto of one of its appealing features: That same anonymity allows online currencies to be used by drug dealers and criminals worldwide.
“Certainly Nasdaq would consider becoming a crypto exchange over time,” says Nasdaq CEO Adena Friedman.
“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.”
Friedman is bullish on the future of digital assets. “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 says.
“Once you look at it and say, ‘Do we want to provide a regulated market for this?’ Certainly Nasdaq would consider it.”
The exchange recently released a statement that it collaborate with cryptocurrency exchange Gemini.
Gemini was founded by early Bitcoin investors, twin brothers Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss.
Gemini would have access to Nasdaq’s technology that would allow Gemini to oversee trading pairs, such as BTC/USD, ETH/USD AND BTC/ETH.
The technology would help make sure that the crypto platform provides a fair and “rules-based marketplace” for their own participants, according to Gemini CEO Tyler Winklevoss.
“Since launch, Gemini has aggressively pursued comprehensive compliance and surveillance programs, which we believe betters our exchange and the cryptocurrency industry as a whole,” he said.
Gemini Trust Company gives customers the ability to buy, sell, and store digital assets such as Bitcoin and Ether. It is a New York trust company that provides fiduciary care for investors, according to the firm.
Gemini was founded in 2014 by the Winklevoss brothers, who made millions suing Facebook’s founders over rights to an early version of the social media company.
In December 2017, Gemini launched the first ever Bitcoin futures contract.