Nasdaq Holds a Closed-Door Meeting to Discuss Cryptocurrencies Legitimization

News and Analysis

The road to shaking its history of shady transactions and fraud is proving long for cryptocurrencies, but Nasdaq Inc. thinks it can help get the industry on the path to legitimacy.

As Bloomberg reports, Nasdaq hosted a closed-door meeting earlier this week in Chicago with representatives from about half a dozen companies, including traditional exchanges as well as Gemini and other crypto markets, according to a person familiar with the event.

The focus of the gathering, the source said, was to encourage the industry to do things that will improve its image and validate its potential role in global markets.

A Nasdaq spokesman declined to comment, but confirmed the event took place. Gemini didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Among topics discussed were the implications of future regulation for cryptocurrencies, what the necessary tools are and what surveillance will be needed.

This will not be the last meeting of this nature, the person said, adding that there will be an ongoing dialogue among the participants.

Due to its history of illiquidity, theft, fraud and the lack of custody services, Wall Street has been slow to move into crypto space. However, Nasdaq CEO Adena Friedman has been outspoken about the need for regulation, with her firm now partnering with a number of exchanges to do help on several of these issues.

Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss’s Gemini exchange already hired Nasdaq to conduct market surveillance for Bitcoin and Ether trading as well as the auction that helps price Cboe Global Markets Inc.’s Bitcoin futures.

Earlier this summer, Adena Friedman suggested that cryptocurrencies can become a “financial element of the Internet.” This followed her April statements when Friedman said that the stock market giant could become a platform for trading cryptocurrencies in the future, if the market becomes more regulated.

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