New York-based Nasdaq Stock Exchange is looking to launch a crypto custody service by the end of the second quarter, Bloomberg News reported on March 24.
The exchange first announced its plans to set up a digital asset business in September 2022 and has been steadily working on setting up the division over the months since.
Ira Auerbach, senior vice president and head of Nasdaq Digital Assets, told Bloomberg that the exchange has been working on establishing solid infrastructure and securing the necessary regulatory approvals that will allow it to serve crypto customers.
According to the report, Nasdaq is in the process of securing a limited-purpose trust company charter from the New York Department of Financial Services for the new division.
The exchange intends to kick off its digital assets business with custody services for the two largest cryptocurrencies by market cap — Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Auerbach told the newswire that custody is the first step in its plans to set up a broad range of services for digital assets. He added that the division will eventually offer execution services for financial institutions as it continues to expand the business.
TradFi continues to add crypto services
Nasdaq is the latest traditional financial giant to move into crypto after snubbing digital assets for the better part of a decade — joining the ranks of Fidelity Investments, BNY Mellon and BlackRock.
Asset management giant BlackRock — which has over $10 trillion in assets under management — quietly expanded into crypto this month, with CEO Larry Fink speaking highly of digital assets in his annual shareholder letter.
“At BlackRock we continue to explore the digital assets ecosystem, especially areas most relevant to our clients such as permissioned blockchains and tokenization of stocks and bonds. While the industry is maturing, there are clearly elevated risks and a need or regulation in this market. BlackRock is committed to operational excellence, and we plan to apply the same standards and controls to digital assets that we do across our business.”
Fidelity began offering crypto trading and custody services to retail clients this month to plug the holes left by the collapse of traditional banks like Silvergate that were recently servicing the crypto industry.
Meanwhile, BNY Mellon launched crypto custody services for institutional clients in late 2022 and has been quietly building up its digital assets division.
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