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Nasdaq Halts Its Digital Asset Custody Service Plans

Milestone Date: July 19, 2023

Digital Asset Custody

Last year, Nasdaq announced its plans to create a digital asset custody business, called Nasdaq Digital Assets, to offer proprietary digital asset custody solutions and institutional liquidity and execution services. During today’s Q2 earnings call, Nasdaq CEO Adena Friedman announced the company will halt its digital asset custody service plans due to regulatory uncertainty; however, they may revisit the business.

“We like to operate in environments that have a pretty well-known regulatory underpinning. That’s just where we’re comfortable. It’s consistent with our risk tolerance. It’s consistent with how we know we can be successful. And the regulatory nature of the business has evolved a lot. And the lack of clarity has made it so as we looked at the opportunity set of just being a custodian – nothing else – just that one segment of the business. The fundamental business opportunity changed over the last several months and the regulatory overhang changed as well. And that just made us decide that it’s not the right time for us to enter that business,” said Friedman in a response to an analyst during the call.

Nasdaq instead is supporting their clients’ potential Bitcoin ETF listings in order to offer an index solution for the cryptocurrency space. Additionally, Nasdaq is providing tech solutions for tokenization.

By Elizabeth Morrison

Published:July 19, 2023

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Nasdaq shelves plans as digital asset custodian

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