Crypto Flat; Nasdaq to Launch Crypto-Tracking Indices

Prices of major digital coins stayed largely flat in Asia on Thursday, with reports that Nasdaq will launch two new indices to track cryptocurrency prices on Feb. 25 having little impact on prices.

On Tuesday, Nasdaq said it will launch the Bitcoin Liquid Index (BLX) and the Ethereum Liquid Index (ELX) to “provide a real-time spot or reference rate for the price of 1 Bitcoin and 1 Ethereum respectively, quoted in USD” for clients using its Global Index Data Service. The data will be updated every thirty seconds.

“The BLX is one of the most widely-referenced Bitcoin indices among crypto traders and has been calculated back to 2010. Likewise, the ELX has been calculated back to 2014,” said the stock exchange operator.

On Thursday morning in Asia, Bitcoin slid 0.74% to $3,614.4 by 11:11 PM ET (04:11 GMT). The world’s largest digital coin was still holding above $3,600.

Ethereum traded 0.13% lower to $123.59, XRP slipped 0.87% to $ 0.30318 and Litecoin lost 5.65% to $41.741.

The total coin market capitalization stood at around $121 billion.

In a separate development, Hester Peirce, from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), said the “arcane rules” of her organization are dragging the process of greenlighting a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF).

“We have applications. … those are subject to a very specific time frame where we have to act within a certain amount of time, and so that’s what it’s going to depend on. And those are very arcane rules as to whether it happens or not, so I can’t speculate on the timing,” Peirce said at an event at the Bipartisan Policy Center.

Her comments implied that an approval for a Bitcoin ETF is unlikely. Peirce is known as a supporter of cryptocurrencies. Many had hoped that an approval for a Bitcoin ETF would send crypto prices higher.