PRESS RELEASE: NASDAQ Explores the Possibility of Launching a Security Token Platform

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NASDAQ’s interest towards cryptocurrency sector is well-known given the comments aired by its executives in the past. The latest is that it is exploring the possibility of launching a security token platform. This will mainly focus on the regulated initial coin offerings (ICOs) only. This would mean that any existing and non-regulated coins might not find a place. Also, this comes at a time when most of the digital currencies are not regulated.

Efforts towards Maturity

A report suggested that the world’s second-biggest stock exchange is keen to establish a platform to offer security token offerings (STOs) enabling fundraising exercise to be simpler and easier. The exchange is said to be talking to several firms that included Symbiont, a blockchain startup, to launch platform. This will not only enable tokenized securities issuance but also allow it to be traded.

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The STOs are much like the ICOs, and the main difference is that the former is fully regulated. This suggested that the technology exchange is keen to avoid the unregulated ICOs since it will risk investors’ money. Also, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) registers STOs, and that enables it to be a regulated instrument. This would suggest that it have more similarities with that or normal shares.

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Direct Competition

The STOs are regarded as tradable assets, which investors could make profits in the future. If the exchanges go as per their plan, then it would become a direct competition with STO enterprises. This included tZERO, a blockchain subsidiary of Overstock, CoinList, and AngelList. Any regulation in the cryptocurrency sector would be viewed as an encouragement to investors to look at the emerging asset class to place their bets.

For more than six months, NASDAQ has been airing a positive opinion on the digital currencies . For instance, in April, its CEO told CNBC that it would consider a crypto exchange over a period of time. CEO also went on to say that the virtual asset should be a regulated market and people should be ready for it and expressed similar opinions in June and September too. Furthermore, NASDAQ keeps an eye on European Fintech Cinnober and even planned to acquire it for $190m .

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