Nasdaq CEO Calls Crypto ‘A Tremendous Demonstration of Genius and Creativity’

On Sunday (January 20th), just before the start of the World Economic Forum (WEF) at Davos, Adena Friedman, the President and CEO of Nasdaq, called the invention of crypto "a tremendous demonstration of genius and creativity."

Nasdaq Inc., which was founded in 1971, owns the Nasdaq stock exchange, which is the second-largest stock exchange in the world by market capitalization, as well as the Nasdaq Nordic (which represents subsidiaries in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and Iceland), the Nasdaq Baltic (which "represents a joint offering of Nasdaq’s exchanges in Tallinn, Riga, and Vilnius as well as Nasdaq CSD"), and "several U.S. stock and options exchanges."

The Nasdaq CEO's comments about cryptocurrencies came as part of an article titled "New chapters in innovation and disruption will be written in 2019" that she posted on her Linkedin account.

She started by saying that she could "see several trends that will continue to shape our markets and the broader economic landscape in the year ahead." This article focuses on her comments regarding one of these trends: cryptocurrencies.

Here were the main highlights:

  • "With several thousand competing cryptocurrencies vying for investor attention, the world of 'crypto' has gone through the first phase of the classic invention lifecycle, marked by early pioneers, followed by hype, followed by proliferation of newcomers and then a dose of reality."
  • Either (1) "the innovation finds practical utility followed by years of steady and sustainable commercial progress and integration into the economic fabric (e.g., the Internet)," or (2) the " invention fails to achieve broad adoption and its commercial applications as medium of exchange are limited (e.g., the Segway)."
  • "The invention itself is a tremendous demonstration of genius and creativity, and it deserves an opportunity to find a sustainable future in our economy."
  • "... two key ingredients to establishing a practical utility and a more stable value are governance and regulatory clarity – both of which are antithetical to the original intent as a decentralized, ungovernable global currency."
  • "... transparency and fairness are the keys to trust, and without some level of oversight and regulation, it is not possible to demonstrate a level of transparency and fairness that will build trust. "
  • "At Nasdaq, we are working to help cryptocurrencies gain investors’ trust by offering our technology for trade matching, clearing, and trade integrity to start-up exchanges."
  • "We have also invested in ErisX, an institutional marketplace for cryptocurrency spot and futures."
  • "... digital currencies will have a role in the future," with the degree of impact determined by "the evolution of regulation and broader institutional adoption."

What was even more interesting was that the section of her essay that talked about cryptocurrencies was titled "Crypto Currencies Could Still Be a Global Currency of the Future." 

It is worth mentioning that back on 25 April 2018, the Nasdaq CEO told CNBC's pre-market news and talk program "Squawk Box" made the following comments about crypto:

"Certainly Nasdaq would consider becoming a crypto exchange over time. 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."

"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. Once you look at it and say, 'do we want to provide a regulated market for this?' Certainly Nasdaq would consider it."

"ICOs need to be regulated. The SEC is right that those are securities and need to be regulated as such."

And finally, it is worth remembering that on January 7th, DX.Exchange, a new revolutionary regulated European cryptocurrency exchange went live. What makes DX.Exchange, which has offices in Estonia and Israel, unique is that for the first time you can now trade cryptocurrencies (including XRP) and popular Nasdaq stocks (in tokenized form), such as Apple, Facebook, and Tesla, on the same platform.

Featured Image Courtesy of Nasdaq