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Nasdaq has set eyes on cryptocurrency trading, says CEO

Nasdaq, cryptocurrency, bitcoin, cryptocurrency exchange
The company announced Wednesday a collaboration with cryptocurrency exchange Gemini, founded by bitcoin investors Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss

Nasdaq CEO Adena Friedman said the company is ready to become a cryptocurrency trading platform.

“Certainly Nasdaq would consider becoming a crypto exchange over time,” he told CNBC’s Squawk Box. “If we do look at it and say ‘it’s time, people are ready for a more regulated market,’ for something that provides a fair experience for investors.”

However, regulation is considered a stumbling block for international investors including Nasdaq, according to Friedman, which is necessary to eliminate before the company becomes an exchange.

“I believe that digital currencies will continue to persist it’s just a matter of how long it will take for that space to mature. Once you look at it and say, ‘do we want to provide a regulated market for this?’ Certainly Nasdaq would consider it,” Friedman added.

Last year’s rise in bitcoin value has reinforced regulators’ interest in the market. In December, bitcoin’s value was estimated at US$20,000 prior to its 48% drop in Q1 this year. According to CoinDesk, the cryptocurrency bounced back to above US$9000 and is up 20% this week.

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