Nasdaq Puts Brakes on Cryptocurrency Custody Service Launch

Nasdaq, the global securities marketplace, has announced the postponement of its cryptocurrency custody service, originally slated for launch by the end of the second quarter of 2023. The decision to halt the launch of the digital asset custody business was made due to regulatory risks in the United States, as disclosed by CEO Adena Friedman during the company’s Q2 results call.

Friedman stated, “This quarter, considering the shifting business and regulatory environment in the United States, we have made the decision to halt our launch of the U.S. digital assets custodian business and our related efforts to pursue relevant licenses.”

However, Friedman made it clear that Nasdaq remains committed to the development of its digital asset business. The company will continue to focus on building and delivering technology capabilities to establish Nasdaq as a leading provider of digital asset software solutions globally. Friedman highlighted the advancement of their custody solution as a technology platform to cater to the broader digital assets marketplace on a global scale.

Nasdaq will closely monitor the market for potential regulatory developments in the coming months. The decision to delay the launch comes after Nasdaq initially unveiled its crypto custody project in September 2022, with plans to establish an official division dedicated to secure storage of Bitcoin and ETH for customers.

As of March 2023, Nasdaq had been progressing with its plans and aimed to launch the platform by the end of July. Meanwhile, in a separate development, cryptocurrency firms are also working on listing spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) on the Nasdaq exchange. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is currently evaluating two spot Bitcoin ETF proposals under Nasdaq Rule 5711.

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