Nasdaq Puts Brakes on Cryptocurrency Custody Launch Amid Regulatory Concerns

The highly anticipated launch of Nasdaq’s own cryptocurrency custody service, initially slated for the end of the second quarter of 2023, has been suspended, according to an announcement made by the company’s CEO, Adena Friedman, during the firm’s Q2 results call.

The decision to halt the launch stems from the regulatory risks associated with the United States market. Friedman stated that considering the shifting business and regulatory environment in the United States, Nasdaq has made the decision to halt our launch of the U.S. digital assets custodian business and our related efforts to pursue relevant licenses.

Despite the temporary setback, Friedman emphasized that Nasdaq remains committed to its digital asset business development. The company is focused on building and delivering technology capabilities that establish Nasdaq as a leading provider of digital asset software solutions globally. 

Acknowledging the dynamic nature of the regulatory landscape, the firm’s CEO also revealed that the company will keep a close eye on the market for any potential regulatory events in the coming months. This cautious approach aims to ensure that Nasdaq’s entry into the crypto custody sector aligns with evolving compliance requirements.

Nasdaq Plan Update Comes After ETF Listing

Nasdaq initially unveiled its plans for a cryptocurrency custody project back in September 2022. The proposed division was intended to offer customers a secure and reliable platform to store their Bitcoin holdings. However, given the current regulatory uncertainties in the United States, the firm has opted to postpone the launch until a more opportune time.

As of March 2023, the company had been moving forward with the plan, targeting a launch by the end of July.

The news comes as major cryptocurrency firms are also working to list spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETF) on the exchange. The United States Securities and Exchange Commission is currently considering two spot Bitcoin ETF proposals under Nasdaq Rule 5711.

Disclaimer: This is a developing story, and further information will be provided as it becomes available.