Nasdaq Inc. and broker Cantor Fitzgerald are both eyeing cryptocurrency as a key part of their respective businesses, come 2018.
As the price of bitcoin surged past $11,000 on Wednesday, details emerged about how each company looked to cash in on the crypto craze.
Nasdaq (NASDAQ: NDAQ) aims to launch bitcoin futures, according to The Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed sources. Meanwhile, New York-based Cantor Fitzgerald announced that it is seeking to launch bitcoin derivatives on an exchange it owns.
Both plans are on pace for the first half of 2018.
The news coincides with the ongoing uptick in digital currency valuation.
Not only has the price of bitcoin surged in the last week, it’s been just days since observers anticipated a move past $10,000. Ethereum, another digital currency, passed $500 per coin on Nov. 29.
These so-called “cryptos” are recorded on a blockchain, or decentralized ledger, with cryptographic security aiding the sending and receiving of digital money over the internet. This has made the trend popular not only in the U.S. but desperate economies.
The technology that underpins bitcoin and other cryptos has been especially appealing to those who want to keep their savings away from the government. The theory is that it allows investors to maintain unhindered access should “a massive shock” shut down the banking system.
It also ties to illegal activity that’s common in certain countries (i.e. Venezuela, Columbia, Russia and Iran) to aide drug trafficking and money laundering are rampant.
Still, major banks and firms want in on the action. Lloyd Blankfein-led Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) is considering a new trading operation devoted to cryptocurrencies. And although J.P. Morgan’s (NYSE: JPM) Jamie Dimon claims that he’d fire any of his traders for buying or selling bitcoin, the bank wants to provide clients access to a new bitcoin product through the futures-brokerage unit of CME Group Inc.