Nasdaq (NDAQ), the second-largest U.S. stock exchange operator, is launching a cryptocurrency exchange hosting service to cater to the demands of institutional crypto investors.

The company has hired Ira Auerbach, who previously managed prime brokerage services at Gemini, to head its digital assets office.

NASDAQ’s move into the field follows a wider trend on Wall Street. Last month, BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, announced that it would offer cryptocurrencies to its institutional clients.

Depository Trust & Clearing Corp., which processes essentially all U.S. stock market trades, released its ledger as it hopes to speed up the settlement of those trades.


According to data published by Nasdaq, there has been an extraordinarily increasing demand for investment firms to get involved in digital assets over the past year or so.

Nasdaq is particularly well-suited to help this trend advance.,”

Tal Cohen, head of North American markets at Nasdaq, said in the release.

Nasdaq will try to compete at the national level with Coinbase and crypto custodians Anchorage Digital and BitGo by storing bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) for institutional clients in the U.S.

Nasdaq welcomed applications from crypto-native start-ups, though it won’t consider new acquisitions, for now, a Bloomberg report revealed.

One question worth asking is, will this new development make CeFi safer?

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