Nasdaq drops crypto custody service due to US regulatory issues.

Nasdaq drops crypto custody service due to US regulatory issues.

The Changing Landscape of the Blockchain Industry

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Nasdaq, the renowned financial exchange company, recently announced its decision to abandon plans for a cryptocurrency custody service. This move comes in response to the evolving business and regulatory environment in the United States. Despite previous efforts to establish the necessary infrastructure and gain regulatory approval, Nasdaq has chosen to shift its focus towards becoming a leading provider of digital asset software solutions globally.

The Importance of Custody Services

Custody services play a crucial role in the institutional adoption of cryptocurrencies. They provide secure storage solutions, safeguarding digital assets against theft or loss. Nasdaq’s custody service was much-anticipated, as it aimed to meet the increasing institutional interest and demand for crypto services. Initially, the service was set to offer custody for Bitcoin and Ether, with plans to expand its offerings to include execution and liquidity services in the future.

The Challenges Faced by Financial Institutions

Nasdaq’s decision to halt its crypto custody plans sheds light on the challenges faced by financial institutions when entering the cryptocurrency space. Regulatory scrutiny from agencies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has intensified. These agencies have taken enforcement action against prominent crypto exchanges like Binance, Coinbase, Kraken, and Bittrex, as well as crypto lending platform Nexo.

The lack of clear guidance from regulatory bodies has also been a concern. Congressman Ritchie Torres recently expressed discontent with the SEC’s failure to provide clear guidelines to the cryptocurrency industry. This lack of clarity creates confusion and hinders the ability of financial institutions to navigate the regulatory landscape effectively.

Nasdaq’s Future in the Digital Asset Industry

Although Nasdaq has abandoned its specific cryptocurrency custody plans, the company remains committed to supporting the evolution of the digital asset ecosystem. Nasdaq will continue to engage with crypto companies, focusing on partnerships with potential exchange-traded fund (ETF) issuers. By delivering comprehensive technology solutions and collaborating with regulators, Nasdaq aims to support the development of tradable exchange-listed products and contribute to the growth of the digital asset industry.


The decision by Nasdaq to halt its cryptocurrency custody service reflects the challenges faced by financial institutions entering the blockchain industry. Regulatory uncertainties, intensified scrutiny, and the absence of clear guidance hinder the progress of such initiatives. Despite these obstacles, Nasdaq remains dedicated to supporting the digital asset ecosystem through technology solutions and partnerships. As the blockchain industry continues to evolve, it is imperative for regulators and financial institutions to collaborate to foster a conducive environment for innovation and growth.


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