The world's second biggest stock exchange by market capitalization, NASDAQ, is reportedly gearing up to list and support the trading of cryptocurrencies through a coin exchange platform. While the Cboe and CME listed cryptocurrency-based financial products in the form of Bitcoin futures back in 2017, the NASDAQ will, according to sources close to the action, list actual cryptocurrency.
If NASDAQ goes through with the listing (after its plans to list crypto futures in 2018 were abandoned), the move will put the exchange at the forefront of institutional money flowing into crypto, as well as set a precedent for the United States' Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) in greenlighting more ETF (Electronically Traded Funds) applications: the regulator's principal reason for rejecting license applications from Gemini and various other exchanges has been that there is, to date, no federally operated exchange that lists Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency.
The source, in a note to ICOJournal, suggested that NASDAQ will be moving quickly and work closely with regulators, explaining that:
The conversation around listing coins has centered on how they will be classified from a regulatory standpoint. As you can imagine, our leadership is closely connected to the rumbling at the SEC and CFTC around cryptos and what is expected over the next 3-6 months. Even with the longest of time frames assumed, some guidance will be provided and I expect we will act quickly...
The source went as far as offering a time-frame for the project by further reporting that:
Doing the math here, look for regulatory bodies to provide guidance in Q1 of 2019, and an announcement and a ‘coin exchange’ to either be announced or launched in Q2 of 2019.
NASDAQ has to date made no announcement of it's intentions to list cryptocurrencies, however the exchange has been reported to be doing research on cryptocurrencies through collaborations with a number of crypto exchanges - most notably the Winkelvoss twins' Gemini exchange.
Sources from Gemini have suggested an increasingly close relationship between the two firms, with one source stating that Gemini's reason for essentially doubling their staff by year end is "their work with NASDAQ" while another stated “Tyler and Cameron have moved the ball down the field in a meaningful way.” Nasdaq, and its leadership, already are predisposed to finding an architecture solution and being “the first to list actual tokens" suggesting that Gemini could possibly provide the technology to make the listing possible.
If there is any truth to the rumoured listing, it would put NASDAQ head-to-head against ICE's Bakkt collaboration to be the first to offer institutionally regulated cryptocurrency trading internationally.