As Nasdaq explores a bitcoin futures product, it is considering two things

Nasdaq is still kicking the tires on a possible bitcoin futures product, according to chief executive officer Adena Friedman. 

In an interview with Bloomberg News, Friedman said the firm is currently exploring the launch of a bitcoin future with an unnamed partner. In November 2017, The Wall Street Journal reported Nasdaq was working on such a product with Cantor Fitzgerald, aiming for a launch in the first half of 2018. Since then, a number of bitcoin derivatives products have come to market, including bitcoin futures by rival Intercontinental Exchange, which launched via its Bakkt subsidiary in September 2019

As for Nasdaq, Friedman said there are two considerations that could impact the roll-out of its bitcoin futures product. 

First, the firm wants to ensure it can bring to market a product that is differentiated from the competition. Second, it wants to ensure it has the proper risk-management foundation in place for a future tied to the cryptocurrency. 

“So the first thing is if you are going to create a product you want to know that people are going to use it and use it differently than how it is being used today,” Friedman said. 

“And the second thing is we have to self certify as a futures exchanges for this. And we would use our NFX license to do that, but we have to make sure from a risk-management perspective we are fully prepared. Those are the two things we are still working on.”

Nasdaq currently trades two exchange-traded products through its Nordic markets, Friedman noted during the interview 

As for the cryptocurrency market as a whole, Friedman says the exchange’s view is that “digital currencies and cryptocurrencies will have a role in the global economy.”

“The question is will they mature to a state that really is used for the transfer of goods.”