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.”

Opera Launches Blockchain, Cryptocurrency-Ready Browser for iOS

Opera Ltd., the company behind the Opera browser, has recently launched a new blockchain and cryptocurrency-ready browser for iOS, following the company’s addition of a built-in cryptocurrency wallet to its Android and PC browsers.

According to a press release shared with CryptoGlobe, the company’s Opera Touch browser for iOS features “crypto wallet integration and Web 3 support,” meaning users can interact with blockchain-based applications through it, as if they were using an extension like MetaMask. The company hinted at the move in March of this year.

The company touts it now offers browsers supporting blockchain-based applications and with a built-in cryptocurrency wallet in various operating systems, including Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS, allowing users to “seamlessly interact with the next generation of Web 3 applications.”

Currently, the browser only supports ERC-20 tokens, stablecoins, and non-fungible tokens, although the company has revealed earlier this year it’s looking to add support for TRON and multiple other blockchains within a  year.

Charles Hamel, Opera’s head of crypto, stated:

We believe that all modern browsers should integrate a crypto wallet. This will enable new business models to emerge on the web. Opera is the first browser to make using crypto on the Web seamless and easy. Following a strong demand from the crypto-community, we are now making this experience available on iOS.

In the press release the company added it believes the “web of today will be the interface to the decentralized web of tomorrow,” with cryptocurrencies being at its forefront. Along with the iOS release, the company announced it partnered with a decentralized-application (dApp) called Marble.Cards, which allows users to turn unique web pages into collectible cards on the blockchain, each being a non-fungible token.

The Opera touch browser itself has a user interface built to let users use large phone screens with ease, as it shifts the navigation towards the bottom of the screen and adds features that make it easy to share pages across devices.

Opera’s main Android browser is also its cryptocurrency-ready browser for the operating system, and it has made it easier for users to buy cryptocurrencies directly from their mobile phones.