Nasdaq Holds Secret Meeting After SEC Rejects Winklevoss/Gemini ETF

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Other than a temporary dip to just below $7,900, Bitcoin has been holding at over $8,000 since it broke through the resistance on July 24th. The market has been strong, but not everybody has been a winner this week, particularly when it comes to regulatory oversight. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has rejected Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss’s second proposal for a cryptocurrency-based ETF.

The twin founders of the Gemini digital currency exchange were aiming to list the first-ever crypto-ETF. Though the SEC rejected their request again, due to concerns over the potential for market manipulation and other investor-protection issues, there are rumors that the regulatory agency may approve a similar trading vehicle soon, possibly by the end of August.

As this news about the ETF denial broke, Bloomberg reported that Nasdaq hosted a closed-door meeting in Chicago earlier this week. While there have been some shady groups finding their way into the crypto and ICO markets, and regulatory concerns over potential fraud and other investor issues, Nasdaq Inc. has a plan to drive the digital currency industry in a direction that institutional investors and regulators would find more legitimate.

The closed-door meeting included representatives from several companies, including Gemini and other cryptocurrency exchanges, as well as traditional exchanges. The main topic, as Bloomberg reported, was to “encourage the industry to do things that will improve its image and validate its potential role in global markets.”

Nasdaq is reportedly the world’s second-largest stock exchange. They were founded in 1971, and their nearly 50 years’ experience with traditional investors gives them an understanding of investing that most crypto startups are lacking. By merging crypto industry leaders with Wall Street representatives, the organization put together a conversation that would not typically be found at a typical cryptocurrency event.

Discussion topics included the implications of future regulations on the digital currency market, and what industry leaders could do to improve the reputation of Bitcoin and other digital assets. Several cryptocurrency exchanges have already entered into agreements with Nasdaq, to use their market surveillance technology to help with self-policing. In addition, Gemini Exchange is using Nasdaq technology to monitor Bitcoin and Ethereum markets. Under their agreement, Nasdaq’s SMARTS technology will help to increase oversight over all cryptocurrency trading pairs on the exchange.

Among the secret meeting participants were Wall Street executives who expressed the possibility of listing cryptocurrency products after the asset class matures a bit more. According to Nasdaq CEO, Adena Friedman, cryptocurrency is the “right next step in the space of currency.” Though Adena is skeptical about Bitcoin maintaining its crown as the king of crypto, she said that blockchain technology could lead to a more globalized and efficient payment mechanism for cross border payments than the traditional methods that are utilized today.

Friedman also confirmed that Nasdaq is in the early stages of developing a Bitcoin futures product. This long-term investment would compete with the Cboe, CME and other Bitcoin derivatives, and can only benefit from the data that has been collected since the other products were released.

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