Nasdaq is preparing to launch an institutional crypto custody service

Equity exchange operator Nasdaq has been plotting a move into institutional crypto custody service, according to several people briefed by the company. The firm, which operates markets in U.S. and global equities, is no stranger to the cryptocurrency market, having served as a provider of market surveillance technology to cryptocurrency exchange venues since at least 2018. In February 2021, the exchange announced the debut of the Hashdex Nasdaq Crypto Index ETF, which is based on its own index. Historically, the firm has opted to provide technology to crypto market participants versus operating a market itself to compete with the likes of Coinbase and FTX. The new offering is pending regulatory approval, according to a source. Nasdaq is also establishing a new crypto-focused division in tandem with its exploration into crypto custody, Nasdaq Digital Assets. In an announcement released after publication, Nasdaq said the unit’s launch “underpins Nasdaq’s ambition to advance and help facilitate broader institutional participation in digital assets by providing trusted and institutional-grade solutions, focused on enhanced custody, liquidity and integrity.”

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