Is NASDAQ creating a bitcoin exchange?

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The New York Post reported today that the NASDAQ, one of the largest stock exchanges in the world, is quietly building a bitcoin exchange. With regulators at the New York Department of Financial Services widely expected to publish new rules for bitcoin exchanges by the end of summer, the tech-friendly NASDAQ is in a strong position to become a power player in the bitcoin investment industry.

According to the article, NASDAQ may face competition from smaller start-up exchanges also waiting on New York regulators to give the thumbs up to formalized bitcoin trading. The NASDAQ exchange would face some competition, as other exchanges fronted by well-known bitcoin advocates like Marc Andreessen and Barry Silbert, appear to be in the works.

Should Nasdaq officials decide to go forward, they likely will move quickly — exchange officials expect to create a regulated platform for bitcoin buyers and sellers in about a year, one source said. … Should Nasdaq, which is already familiar with securities rules as a self-regulatory organization, throw its hat into the bitcoin ring, it could rattle the industry, experts said.

Even if NASDAQ doesn’t launch a bitcoin marketplace, the exchange is still likely to see plenty of cryptocurrency action later this year. The Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust is expected to trade on the NASDAQ after the SEC clears the fund for public trading.

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