Nasdaq planning to launch custody services for crypto by end of Q2

March 24, 2023, 6:34 PM UTC
Adena Friedman, president and chief executive officer of Nasdaq Inc.
Elijah Nouvelage—Bloomberg/Getty Images

Global exchange Nasdaq Inc. plans to launch custody services for Bitcoin and Ether in the next three months, according to Ira Auerbach, senior vice president and head of Nasdaq Digital Assets.

In an interview with Bloomberg on Friday, Auerbach said the company is working to finalize the technical infrastructure as well as secure final regulatory approvals so the new business can launch before the end of the second quarter.

A Nasdaq spokesperson declined to comment further.

The company said in September it was looking to establish custody services and appointed Auerbach to oversee Nasdaq Digital Assets, a new division.

“Nasdaq Digital Assets builds upon the successful solutions we have introduced in recent years to serve the digital assets ecosystem, including marketplace technology for digital asset exchanges, crypto-native anti-financial crime offerings, and crypto-related index solutions for tradable products,” CEO Adena Friedman said in a statement at the time.

Nasdaq applied to the New York Department of Financial Services for a limited-purpose trust company charter for the new services. Eventually, the company aims to offer a full suite of services for the group’s digital assets division, which would eventually include execution for financial institutions, Auerbach told Bloomberg.

The exchange’s move into crypto would mark a change from its traditional business of dealing in stocks and bonds. It would also help fill the gap in crypto custody services that was left after the collapse of FTX last year. 

Other companies, such as BNY Mellon and Fidelity have also jumped into crypto to offer custody services.

Despite a spate of crypto company bankruptcies and a sharp decline in the value of digital assets last year, the crypto market has been on an upswing in recent weeks. After failing to maintain momentum beyond the $25,000 mark, Bitcoin has stayed consistently above it for more than a week.

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