Capital markets News

Nasdaq wants to be a blockchain tech disruptor


In an interview with Fortune magazine, Nasdaq CEO Adena Friedman outlined how the organization embraces blockchain technology. Nasdaq’s ‘Market Technology’ division that sells solutions to other exchanges is currently used by at least nine crypto exchanges. 

Friedman credited its technology for helping to weed out the market manipulation that is often a feature of crypto markets.

However, Friedman made it clear there are limitations. “The crypto trading technology today is just not in a position to be able to support the level of trading activity that we experience in the equities and options markets. We’re dealing with 3 million messages a second, 62 billion messages in an eight-hour period,” she said. 

Friedman continued, “Over the next decade, there will be a greater understanding of how we can make the markets more efficient and effective using the blockchain. We’re really focused on how we can bring this technology into the markets and be a disrupter ourselves.”

Back in April 2020, the Market Technology division announced it would adopt R3’s enterprise blockchain Corda for tokenized assets. More recently, Digital Asset signed a deal with Nasdaq to integrate its smart contract language Daml with its Nasdaq Marketplace Services Platform.

Nasdaq is one of the founders of the InterWork Alliance, a body backed by the likes of Microsoft and Accenture for setting token standards. Additionally, Nasdaq is the only non-bank investor in Fnality, formerly known as the Utility Settlement Coin. Fnality is the institutional settlement token that aims to enable real-time on-chain settlement using tokens backed by central bank deposits. 

Plus, Nasdaq is an investor in Symbiont, which is developing numerous blockchain capital markets solutions and boasts partners such as Vanguard, BNY Mellon, Citi and State Street.

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