Nasdaq to Launch New BTC, ETH Indices to Provide Real-Time Spot Rates

Nasdaq, the world’s second largest stock exchange with a market capitalization of over $10 trillion, is reportedly planning to introduce two new indices in order to track cryptocurrency prices.

In an announcement made by Nasdaq on February 12th, the company stated that the new indices would be added by February 25th, 2019. Referred to as the Bitcoin Liquid Index (BLX) and the Ethereum Liquid Index (ELX), the indices will provide traders with real-time price updates every 30 seconds. Both BLX and ELX will be accessible through Nasdaq’s Global Index Data Service (GIDS).

"Real Time Spot Rates For Price Of 1 BTC And 1 ETH"

Notably, BLX and ELX have been developed by Brave New Coin, a US-based blockchain and digital asset market data provider. Explaining how the new crypto indices have been developed, Nasdaq noted:

(BLX and ELX) are each designed to provide a real-time spot or reference rate for the price of 1 BTC and 1 ETH respectively, quoted in USD, and based on the most liquid ends of their markets.

Both BLX and ELX are calculated using an “independently audited” methodology - which has been developed according to IOSCO (International Organization of Securities Commissions) principles and guidelines. IOSCO is “an association of organizations that regulate the world’s securities and futures markets.”

In the past year, Nasdaq has joined other major financial institutions in laying the groundwork for offering cryptocurrency-related products. In September 2018, Nasdaq had started looking into potentially incorporating crypto-related financial data to its market analytics platform. Towards the end of last year, Nasdaq revealed its plans to introduce bitcoin (BTC) futures contracts during the first half of 2019.

Either Crypto Achieves Mass Adoption, Or Settles For A Limited Role 

Last month, Adena Friedman, the CEO of Nasdaq, published a blog post on LinkedIn in which she wrote that cryptocurrency “deserves an opportunity to find a sustainable future in our economy.” Friedman argued that “the invention itself (of cryptographic assets) [is] a tremendous demonstration of genius and creativity.” She also mentioned that the crypto ecosystem has now gone through the “classic invention cycle” - which she described as:

[Initially, a movement] marked by early pioneers, followed by hype, followed by proliferation of newcomers and then a dose of reality.

According to Friedman, we’re at that point now where cryptocurrency either “finds practical utility followed by years of steady and sustainable progress and integration into the economic fabric” or cryptos “fail to achieve broad adoption and its commercial applications as medium of exchange are limited.”

Neutral Dollar Stablecoin Founder Explains How to Access Shared Liquidity Pools

Matthew Branton, the Founder and Chief Technology Officer at Neutral, a smart contract-enabled platform that provides various financial instruments for the cryptocurrency industry, has predicted that stablecoins will have “a tremendous impact on the future economy.”

Branton, a computer science graduate from Lafayette College, told CryptoGlobe that stablecoins offer “access to a digital currency that can enable payments, credit, and banking services which many people don't have access to.”

According to Branton:

[Stablecoins are] innovative digital assets [that] will help lower the barriers for [major financial] applications and [they will also] help people transact in value [systems] they are familiar with, such as the USD [and other fiat currencies.]

“Cultivating Healthy Dialogue to Help Build Wider Understanding” of Stablecoin Market

In response to a question about how the traditional financial system could be upgraded (in terms of both the regulatory framework and technological infrastructure) so that it can allow users to legally acquire stablecoins and other digital assets, Branton remarked:

In order to ensure that regulation evolves in tandem with advances in financial technology (FinTech), dialogue between regulators and innovators is essential. Cultivating a healthy dialogue among fintech project [developers], stakeholders and regulators of traditional finance will help build wider understanding of the benefits of stablecoins, and in turn accelerate the creation of regulation and infrastructure that accommodates stablecoins in the global economy.

Neutral Dollar Aims to Provide “Diversified Exposure” to Investors at “Lower Risk”

When asked what unique value proposition the Neutral Dollar stablecoin offers, which may not currently be available in the cryptoasset market, and how this is supposed to be relevant and useful, Branton said:

The Neutral dollar provides diversified exposure, presenting a lower risk alternative against other stablecoins (which contrary to their name, may not exhibit stability) in the market. In addition, the Neutral Dollar functions in a way that creates an additional layer that allows for shared liquidity amongst constituents stablecoins, a property that isn't inherent in their design. Given the fragmented and nascent nature of the crypto market structure right now, this solution is particularly relevant and unique in the marketplace.

Responding to a question about the potential impact he expects his company’s line of products to have on the cryptoasset market, Branton stated:

The impact of our products is to not only give end-users a better means to invest, trade, or hedge cryptoassets, but to also facilitate liquidity and engage in better portfolio management practices through our products. In order for the digital asset space to reach its full potential, the industry needs reliable financial instruments that take us beyond the limitations of fiat currencies, while also upholding the highest standards in stability and transparency. In the longer term, we plan to explore the launch of a suite of financial products to improve market infrastructure and activity.

Digital Asset Security Is “Quite Solid”

Commenting on how we can ensure the security of our assets, including stablecoins users might acquire, since the technology used to transact in these assets is highly technical, Branton noted:

Given that collateral is on-chain and smart contract based, security is decentralized in nature and quite solid. Asset safety is still the responsibility of the end-user — crypto-storage extends beyond the case of stablecoins and Neutral Dollar itself.

He added: “Ultimately, once a Neutral Dollar token is deployed on smart contract networks, it will function completely autonomously. The math and algorithms that govern its operation will operate independently of a centralized entity and in a transparent manner, and provide continuous services on the network.”