Nasdaq halts launch of cryptocurrency custody service

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Global securities marketplace Nasdaq is halting the launch of its own cryptocurrency custody that it previously planned to roll out by the end of the second quarter of 2023.

It suspended the launch because of regulatory risks in the United States, CEO Adena Friedman announced during the firm’s Q2 results call.

“This quarter, considering the shifting business and regulatory environment in the United States, we have made the decision to halt our launch of the U.S. digital assets custodian business and our related efforts to pursue relevant license,” Friedman stated.

The Nasdaq CEO emphasized that the company remains committed to digital asset business development, stating:

“We continue to build and deliver technology capabilities that position Nasdaq as a leading digital assets software solutions provider to the broader global industry. This includes advancing our custody solution as a technology platform to serve the broader, global digital assets marketplace.”

Friedman also added that Nasdaq will closely monitor the market for potential regulatory events in the coming months.

Nasdaq initially announced its crypto custody project in September 2022. The firm had planned to launch an official division allowing customers to safely store Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH).

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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 Nasdaq exchange. The United States Securities and Exchange Commission is currently considering two spot Bitcoin ETF proposals under Nasdaq Rule 5711.

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