After breaking developments from Intercontinental Exchange, CME, CBOE, and other global equity bourses, NASDAQ remains aloof of any substantial crypto-trading development. But, could the tech-savvy, aggressive exchange make a commanding move next year?
A Double-Edged Sword
Crypto trading on the world’s second largest stock exchange is about as mainstream as trading of cryptocurrency gets, and a listing on NASDAQ would open the floodgates to trader and investor money, all but guaranteeing a sustained swelling of the market.
On the other hand, the traders who would be most likely to join the fray are sophisticated, with decades of experience in the stock market. And what’s good for their bottom line is not often what is good for yours.
While the coins that would be traded would be actual coins, it will not be long before the same traders start trading in futures, and there is as much money to be made on shorting the market as in seeing it grow.
Too large an influx of new money followed by futures trading may also turn out to be the perfect recipe for another spectacular boom and bust. For a crypto market that has been all but kind so far in 2018, a premature bull run could put us in an even longer bear market, with much of the new blood being burned as badly as traders who joined us in December 2017.
Waiting for Regulators
A healthier scenario would perhaps be if the current bear market was allowed to run its course and give the strongest projects in crypto a chance to prove their mettle and grow organic adoption of their products. At the same time, it is likely that if institutional money began flowing in in earnest, that will benefit many small startups that might otherwise have difficulty attracting enough investments to develop their projects.
While NASDAQ is ostensibly set on trading going live in 2019, the exact setup will depend on rulings by the SEC and CFTC in the coming six months. Plans are however being drawn up for different regulatory frameworks so that when rulings finally come down NASDAQ will be ready to proceed regardless.
Depending on how positive the emerging framework proves to be, coins may be listed as early as Q2 next year, or later in the year if regulatory hassles prove difficult to navigate.