Nasdaq Launches Crypto Custody Service for Institutional Clients

by Eva Fox September 20, 2022

Nasdaq Launches Crypto Custody Service for Institutional Clients

Photo: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

Nasdaq, the second largest US stock market operator, is launching a cryptocurrency custodian service in an effort to profit from demand from institutional crypto investors. The company has hired a former head of prime brokerage services at Gemini to head its digital assets division.

Nasdaq on Tuesday announced the launch of “Nasdaq Digital Assets,” a new business that will support the digital asset ecosystem. The launch supports Nasdaq's commitment to promoting and facilitating broader institutional participation in digital assets by providing trusted institutional-grade solutions focused on improved custody, liquidity and integrity, the company said in a press release.

“Nasdaq Digital Assets builds upon the successful solutions we have introduced in recent years to serve the digital assets ecosystem, including marketplace technology for digital asset exchanges, crypto-native anti-financial crime offerings, and crypto-related index solutions for tradable products,” said Adena Friedman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Nasdaq. “The technology that underpins the digital asset ecosystem has the potential to transform markets over the long-term. To deliver on that opportunity, our focus will be to provide institutional-grade solutions that bring greater liquidity, integrity, and transparency to support the evolution.”

Nasdaq Digital Assets will first develop an advanced custody solution that will include liquidity and execution services to address industry challenges of connectivity, availability, and efficiency. Nasdaq's custody solution will combine the best of both hot and cold crypto wallets with an innovative technology offering that provides high availability and scalability without sacrificing security. The Nasdaq proposal is subject to regulatory approval in applicable jurisdictions.

“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,” said Tal Cohen, Executive Vice President and Head of North American Markets, Nasdaq. “With our trusted brand and strong track record as a technology provider for the global capital markets, Nasdaq is uniquely placed to address industry pain points by improving liquidity, scalability, and resiliency, with the goal to engender greater trust and confidence in the digital assets ecosystem.”

Nasdaq Digital Assets will be led by Ira Auerbach, Senior Vice President, Head of Digital Assets, who will oversee the team’s strategic roadmap, growth targets, and product development. Auerbach brings over a decade of leadership experience in building institutional-grade solutions and innovative services across digital assets and traditional finance. Auerbach joined Nasdaq from Gemini, where he held several executive positions across product, business development, and trading. Most recently he was the Global Head of Gemini Prime, the crypto platform’s prime brokerage services. He reports to Tal Cohen, Executive Vice President, North American Markets.

© 2022, Eva Fox | Tesmanian. All rights reserved.

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