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“Very Young” ICO Market Poses No Threat, Yet: Nasdaq Executive

Last Updated March 4, 2021 5:01 PM
Samburaj Das
Last Updated March 4, 2021 5:01 PM

The vice chairman of Nasdaq has played down the threat of the initial coin offering (ICO) market by asserting that Nasdaq remains the best platform for a company to raise capital.

In a conversation with CNBC  this week at the Web Summit technology conference in Lisbon, Nasdaq Vice chairman Bruce Aust dismissed any present concerns of fundraising through initial coin offerings, a massively popular and radical new form of raising money through cryptocurrencies.

“It’s very young and early stage” as a market, Aust argued, asserting that Nasdaq has long been the go-to platform for companies looking to raise finances in both private and public markets operated by the New York-based stock exchange, the second largest in the world by market capitalization after the NYSE.

The Nasdaq official highlighted the core difference between the two markets while admitting ICO fundraising will go on to disrupt the sector entirely.

Aust said:

We are a regulated market, I think that’s the difference between us and an ICO. And we’ll see at some point those markets become regulated and that will change everything.

ICO fundraising has already scaled beyond a record $3 billion this year and continues to gain popularity among startups and companies looking to raise finances in cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ether, in exchange for their own cryptographic tokens.

Nonetheless, a number of governmental authorities and prominent figures in finance have cautioned against ICO investments in recent months. ICOs are completely banned in China and South Korea, with authorities deeming them an “illegal’ practice that has “seriously disrupted the economic and financial order”. Legendary investor and billionaire Warren Buffet has expressed concern with the ICO ‘hype’ while former Wall Street fraudster Jordan Belfort labelled ICOs as “the biggest scam ever.”

However, there are regulatory authorities and watchdogs that have been more accepting of ICOs in countries and jurisdictions like Australia, Abu Dhabi, Russia and Thailand, among others.

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