NASDAQ AND BAKKT: Exchange Pushes Forward Quickly On First Crypto Index, Strategically Timed With Bakkt Roll-Out

We’ve known for several weeks that the Nasdaq is pushing hard to land crypto products into the laps of institutional clients first and then into the hands of the retail masses. Another note passed our way last night proves that to be the case, as our two sources at Nasdaq confirmed a crypto product that is meant to be the cursor to the exchange listing individual coins in earnest.

Per a rep at Nasdaq:

“Take a good look at the alleged timing here. And remember what I told you about competition with Bakkt. We have to do something that gives investors an alternative, or else Bakkt completely dominates given the scale that they can roll out across global exchanges and amongst every single financial institution that trades anything. A late 2018 rollout, that coincides with Bakkt’s stated timing is of utmost importance from a competitive standpoint.”

Another source confirmed the initiative (via email), but without mention of Bakkt: “This is an extension of talks we’ve had before (with Abacus) and where this is headed. We want to be the leader in this space and continue to work with preferred partners in a number of ways (custody, auditing, intelligence, data, etc.). A year-end rollout will give us the ability to test and re-test a crypto concept as we develop a larger construct for listing individual coins. Stay tuned, lots more to come from us.”

Via Coindesk overnight, further confirmation and intel were put together:

“On the other hand, the source, who’s working with Nasdaq on the effort, was resolute, saying that the new crypto functionality is currently being beta tested ahead of a launch targeted for November.”

“The source told CoinDesk that the service would provide sentiment on some 500 crypto assets and that it takes a three-pronged approach to its analysis, looking at fund flows via wallets, data from exchanges and social media.”

“There’s the social media sentiment part, so applying machine learning and NLP, which will start with Twitter and might include StockTwits and then eventually perhaps Reddit,” the source said.

“The news comes after Nasdaq CEO Adena Friedman said earlier this year that the company was looking into offering some sort of bitcoin futures product. Further, in April, she said Nasdaq would even consider creating a crypto exchange. Nasdaq won’t be alone in its pursuit, though.”

“Other well-known players in the alternative data analytics field include Reuters and Bloomberg, as well as Dataminr, which has previously made comments about providing Twitter data to crypto traders.”

The institutional scrambling is moving along at a fevered pitch and jockeying for timing and proper positioning is everywhere. Do you think these institutions believe there is a little money to be made in crypto?