Adena Friedman, Nasdaq President and CEO, speaks at the Sandler O'Neill + Partners Global Exchange and Brokerage Conference in New York, U.S., June 7, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Crypto Could Still Be ‘Global Currency of Future’: Nasdaq CEO

By CCN.com: On route to Davos, Nasdaq CEO Adena Friedman says 2019 will be a year of disruption and innovation. Cryptocurrencies could still be a global currency if the “tremendous demonstration of genius and creativity” finds practical utility.

Pioneering, Followed by a Dose of Reality

Friedman, like others, believes the cryptocurrency space has gone through the first stage of the “classic invention lifecycle” this is:

“Marked by early pioneers, followed by hype, followed by proliferation of newcomers and then a dose of reality.”

For many, that dose of reality is a real hard hitter. Over $400 billion has been wiped off the market capitalization of cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin’s price has fallen from highs of $19,000 to lows of $3,200. Early investors may still be in profit, for those who joined the market on its way up, they are sure feeling the downside.


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Cryptocurrencies Could be the Internet or Segway

The Nasdaq CEO says one of two things will happen next. Firstly, like the internet:

“The innovation finds practical utility followed by years of steady and sustainable commercial progress and integration into the economic fabric.”

Or secondly like the Segway:

“The invention fails to achieve broad adoption and its commercial applications as medium of exchange are limited.”

It’s tough seeing an industry with billions in investment, tens of thousands of credible startups, and stalwart progress towards adoption, compared to a not so successful “personal transportation device.” Even if the Segway was a precursor to technology like the hoverboard.

Nasdaq Works to Gain Investors Trust in Cryptocurrency

Friedman says:

“It is difficult to ignore the huge amount that investors, including some of the most sophisticated global investors, have poured into digital currencies in recent years.”

Adding that such a genius invention “deserves an opportunity to find a sustainable future in our economy.”

That, she says, will depend on governance and regulatory clarity both “antithetical” to a “decentralized, ungovernable” currency.

For Nasdaq, says Friedman, its about gaining investors trust in cryptocurrency by implementing its trade technology and integrity. The Winklevoss twin’s Gemini exchange uses Nasdaq’s software. Nasdaq has also contributed to Singapore’s efforts to settle tokenized assets and invested in the Wall Street ErisX crypto-exchange. It has also partnered with VanEck to roll out bitcoin futures trading in early 2019.

Venture capitalist Chris Burniske too believes cryptocurrency is going through a normal phase of market development. He says crypto is still at the “installation phase” also comparable to the internet, and even Amazon’s rise to success.