Nasdaq Joins Crypto Custody Race With Q2 2023 Launch

Nasdaq Inc. has announced its intention to launch its own set of crypto custody services. After a number of high-profile bankruptcies, Nasdaq is stepping in to fill the gap left by well-established companies and exchanges. The new services are expected to be launched by the second quarter of this year.


Trust Company Charter Application

Ira Auerbach, Senior Vice President and Head of Nasdaq Digital Assets, confirmed in a recent interview that the group is “pushing ahead” to get all the necessary technical infrastructure and regulatory approvals. Nasdaq has applied to the New York Department of Financial Services for a limited-purpose trust company charter.

The first step for Nasdaq will be to provide custody services for Bitcoin and Ethereum, with Auerbach suggesting that this will be followed by the integration of executions for financial institutions. Nasdaq has prior experience in the crypto market, having provided market surveillance technologies to various crypto exchanges. In Q1 2021, it launched the Hashdex Nasdaq Crypto Index ETF, which is based on its own index.


Crypto Safekeeping Services

Other traditional financial players have also entered the crypto custody space, with BNY Mellon launching its own digital asset custody platform in Q4 2022. Fidelity and BNP Paribas are also offering crypto safekeeping services, with BNP Paribas signing a crypto custody partnership with Swiss digital asset safekeeping firm Metaco last year.

The fall of established crypto lenders and exchanges has opened the door for new players to enter the market. Nasdaq is now joining the fray and hopes to build a broad suite of services for its digital assets division. With traditional financial players stepping into the crypto industry, overall adoption can be expected to rise.

Nasdaq’s move into the crypto custody space is a significant development in the rapidly evolving crypto landscape. The success of these new services will depend on Nasdaq’s ability to navigate the complex regulatory environment and build trust with investors. However, if successful, Nasdaq’s new services could help to establish crypto assets as a legitimate asset class for institutional investors.