Nasdaq Starts Crypto Custody Services For Institutional Clients

Nasdaq (NDAQ), the second-largest U.S. stock market operator, released a cryptocurrency custody service as it aims to cash in on the demand from institutional crypto investors, according to a press release.

The firm hired Ira Auerbach, who previously ran prime brokerage services at Gemini, as the head of its Digital Assets unit, the release said.

Nasdaq's shift to crypto follows a wider trend across Wall Street with BlackRock, the world's largest asset manager, offering crypto to its institutional clients last month. Depository Trust & Clearing Corp. (DTCC), which almost all U.S. stock market trades, released its own blockchain in August as it looks to speed up the settlement of trades.

“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 at Nasdaq.

Nasdaq's new product will rival the likes of Coinbase, Anchorage Digital and BitGo as it will offer bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) custody services for institutional clients in the U.S.

Auerbach said that Nasdaq is open to partnering with crypto-native firms, although it doesn't have any short term plans for acquisitions, a Bloomberg report said.