Nasdaq Halts Crypto Custody Plans Amid Tough US Regulatory Environment

Adena Friedman, CEO of Nasdaq, the international securities marketplace, announced that the firm is postponing its cryptocurrency custody plans due to the United States’ “regulatory environment.” During a Q2 earnings call, Friedman disclosed that Nasdaq aimed to launch the service last quarter, but it has been put on hold.

U.S. ‘Regulatory Environment’ Forces Nasdaq to Postpone Crypto Custody Launch

In late March, Nasdaq unveiled its plans to introduce a crypto asset custody service. The company applied for a limited-purpose trust company charter from the New York Department of Financial Services.

Initially, it was reported that Nasdaq would provide custody for bitcoin (BTC) and ethereum (ETH), with plans to expand to additional cryptocurrencies. However, during a Q2 earnings call, CEO Adena Friedman stated that the project had been paused.

“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,” said the Nasdaq executive. Friedman elaborated:

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.

Since the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) took action against multiple crypto companies for alleged securities law violations, regulatory pressure has intensified in the U.S. The U.S. regulator has categorized 66 digital assets worth over $98 billion as securities.

This prompted several businesses such as Bakkt, Etoro, and Robinhood to delist some cryptocurrencies. However, after Ripple Labs and XRP secured a partial victory regarding programmatic sales, numerous exchanges opted to re-list XRP.

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