Nasdaq Inc., owner of the second largest stock exchange, is looking to provide crypto custody service to institutional investors, in its first major push into the rather nascent industry, despite a price downturn for the asset. The service is subject to regulatory approval, according to a statement from Nasdaq on Tuesday. Ira Auerbach, Nasdaq’s senior vice president and head of digital assets, will lead the company’s new digital asset business, according to the statement.
“Demand among institutional investors for engaging in digital assets has increased in recent years, and Nasdaq is well-positioned to accelerate broader adoption and drive sustainable growth,” Tal Cohen, executive vice president and head of north American markets at Nasdaq, wrote in the statement. Nasdaq’s
move is in line with several Wall Street giants’ recent push into crypto, though bitcoin has lost almost 60% of its value year-to-date. Earlier this month, a consortium including Charles Schwab, Citadel Securities, Fidelity Digital Assets, Paradigm, Sequoia Capital, and Virtu Financial, announced the launch of crypto exchange EDX Markets. In August, BlackRock Inc.
the world’s largest asset manager, said it was joining with Coinbase Global Inc.
to offer direct access to bitcoin to some institutional clients. Bitcoin
was trading around $18,978, down 1.4% over the past 24 hours, according to CoinDesk data. Ether
is trading at around $1,344, down 1% over the past 24 hours. Nasdaq Inc. shares were down 1.3%.