Bitcoin Appetite: Nasdaq is Acquiring Crypto-Friendly Swedish Exchange Cinnober

Nasdaq, the world’s second-largest stock exchange, announced Friday that it is in the works to acquire Cinnober, a trading solution provider based in Sweden.

Cinnober has a history for bullishness towards digital assets and making it easier for institutions to invest in them. One of those efforts is the partnership with BitGo, a behemoth for institutional-grade cryptocurrency custody security. BitGo itself has built partnerships and acquisitions over its history, which have helped it firm up its mission, including the acquisition of Kingdom Trust and a partnership with the South Korea exchange Korbit.

Nasdaq: More Prepping for Cryptocurrency Trading?

Nasdaq’s latest acquisition highlights, though indirectly in this case, its taste for cryptocurrency trading. As CCN reported, on the heels of the SEC’s second rejection for the Winklevoss twins’ ETF, the Nasdaq held a closed-door meeting with cryptocurrency industry experts. In the meeting, participants discussed ways to legitimize cryptocurrencies as a traditional securities product, especially in ways to appease the fickle SEC.

Cinnober’s BitGo platform is well-suited for large institutional investors in Nasdaq. The multi-signature security and custody solution with BitGo has made it one of the most popular in the space. Nasdaq’s release points to their interest in Cinnober’s success in offering newer asset types. Adena Friedman, President and CEO, Nasdaq, said:

“The combined intellectual capital, technology competence and capabilities of Cinnober and our Market Technology business will expand the breadth and depth of our fastest growing division at Nasdaq. Not only have the global capital markets continued to evolve rapidly, new marketplaces in various industries are demanding market technology infrastructure that enables rapid growth and scale as well as access to tools to promote market integrity. This acquisition will enhance our ability to serve market infrastructure operators worldwide, and will accelerate our ability to expand into new growth segments.”

Cinnober has developed in-house solutions and technology acquisitions that make it a prime candidate for the tech-heavy Nasdaq Corporation. Cinnober’s cryptocurrency custodian service, in specific, could be one of the most coveted arms of the acquisition, as questions over custodianship have made many institutional investors leery.

Household names in finance are racing to developer regulated and clearly audited custodian solutions, including Citigroup and Bank of America.

Exchange Hacks Marred Crypto’s History

Large institutions’ concerns over custody are understandable, given the number of exchanges hacked in Bitcoin’s history. The Bancor exchange hack is the most recent large example, as CCN reported on in July. Many cryptocurrency experts believe that the custodian problem has been solved, especially with multi-signature technology and cold storage.

While the technology is there, legitimacy can only be improved when large names like Nasdaq can provide tangible audits that traditional securities managers are accustomed to. Nasdaq acquisition of Cinnober is another box to check off in the race to provide the first (and best) publicly trading cryptocurrency vehicle (and thus the servicing fees that translate to more profits.)

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