Nasdaq Unveils Vetting Process for Bitcoin Exchanges

Nasdaq has unveiled its comprehensive onboarding process for Bitcoin exchanges looking to use its proprietary surveillance tools as part of efforts to combat wash trading and other forms of market manipulation. The stock exchange operator says that it has already on-boarded seven platforms.

Rigorous Vetting Needed for Bitcoin Exchanges

Nasdaq has a team of 20 people conducting due-diligence checks on Bitcoin exchanges that want to start using the company’s trading surveillance technology, reports Forbes.

This team tries to examine if each applicant has the technical capacity to employ the tools as well as a commitment to best practices.

The process covers the examination of three main areas; business model, KYC/AML protocols, and exchange governance/controls, explains, Tony Sio, Exchange and Regulator Surveillance chief. He adds:

Historically, we don’t do such a large vetting process for our clients because they are much more well-known. But as we started working with less well-known names, startups, then we realized we needed to do this check process.

Combating Bitcoin Wash Trading

SBI Virtual Currency and Gemini, along with five other unnamed platforms have already scaled through the vetting process.

Back in July 2018, Bitcoinist reported that Nasdaq was already working SBI, Gemini and three other unnamed exchanges, meaning the stock exchange giant has added two new client platforms.

In November 2018, the company declared that it could lead the fight to combat market manipulation through the use of its trading surveillance technology.

Market manipulation is indeed a concern and is often cited as one of the biggest reasons the Bitcoin ETF has not yet been approved. A 2018 report by the Blockchain Transparency Institute (BTI) alleged that more than 70 percent of the top 100 exchanges listed on CoinMarketCap were engaging in wash trading.

Nasdaq’s Crypto and Blockchain Technology Aspirations

Nasdaq’s crypto aspirations also extend beyond policing the trading space. According to reports confirmed by VanEck at the back-end of 2018, Nasdaq plans to launch Bitcoin futures trading before the end of Q1 2019.

The company is also delving into the spot trading arena, joining Fidelity Investments to raise $27.5 million for a new Bitcoin exchange back in December 2018. Adena Friedman, the Nasdaq CEO, stated several times that the company would consider creating its crypto exchange platform once more clear-cut regulations emerged.

While the regulatory landscape continues to evolve, Nasdaq seems intent to capture the cryptocurrency trading surveillance market. Elaborating on the companies approach, Sio said:

The objective that we’re trying to work with crypto is we see this as a growing asset class. So we’re working to help provide our technology, it could be around matching, it could be around surveillance, to help our customers as they grow their marketplaces.

On the blockchain front, the company participated in funding rounds for startups like Symbiont and Linq.

Will Nasdaq’s efforts yield significant results in a trading arena as fragmented as cryptocurrency currently is? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Image courtesy of Nasdaq, Shutterstock

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