Blockchain Moves Ahead With Nasdaq-Citi Platform,
Hyperledger and Ethereum Growth
Investors in private company securities on Nasdaq
can use Citi’s cross-border payments facility and blockchain to buy, sell and settle transactions. Nasdaq and City Treasury and Trade Solutions announced today they have developed a new integrated payment solution that enables stray straight-throughout processing and automates reconciliation by using a distributed ledger to record and transmit payment instructions. They have run a number of transactions through the CitiConnect for Blockchain connectivity platform and the Linq Platform powered by the Nasdaq Financial Framework, the companies said in their announcement.
Nasdaq has been early in experimenting with blockchain for private securities which don’t trade on an exchange but can generate significant paperwork as they are bought and sold. At the Futures Industry Association (FIA) conference in Chicago in November 2015, Fredrik Voss, vice president for blockchain innovation at Nasdaq, said shares in private equity deals are deployed in paper certificates and transferring them is very time-consuming. At the time he said Nasdaq was in a pilot with five clients.
This integration can allow businesses such as Nasdaq Private Market to address the challenges of liquidity in private securities by streamlining payment transactions between multiple parties, their announcement said. Key benefits include a seamless end-to-end transactional process for private company securities and direct access to global payments from Nasdaq’s Linq platform using CitiConnect for Blockchain and WorldLink Payment Services, Citi’s cross-border, multicurrency payments service. The service, which uses Chain’s blockchain infrastructure platform, will provide increased operational efficiency and ease of reconciliation with real-time visibility of payment transactional activity on the blockchain ledger, the announcement added.
"This new payment capability marks a milestone in the global financial sector and represents an important moment in the commercial application of blockchain technology," said Adena Friedman, CEO at Nasdaq. "Through this effective integration of blockchain technology and global financial systems, we can realize greater operational transparency and ease of reconciliation, which can have profound implications for outdated administrative functions in the capital markets.
In another blockchain development today, Hyperledger, an open source organization to promote distributed ledger technology sponsored by the Linux Foundation, announced significant new members including Alphapoint, CITIC, EY and Schroder Investment Management Limited. Hyperledger now has 142 members, a 373 percent increase since the project was announced with 30 members in February of 2016. he Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, which has more than tripled in size, today announced several new financial services members including Broadridge, DTCC and the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, which oversees licensed businesses in the state.
Ethereum is a blockchain-based, general purpose, decentralized application platform, enabling smart contract functionality, the DTCC said in its announcement. The technology is expected to improve banking trade settlement latency, increase transparency in supply chains and create peer-to-peer markets where intermediaries typically were previously needed between counterparties. Ethereum has a heavy representation of financial services firms — the founding members of the EEA rotating board include Accenture, Banco Santander, BlockApps, BNY Mellon, CME Group, ConsenSys, IC3, Intel, J.P. Morgan, Microsoft, and Nuco. Founding members include BBVA, ING, Credit Suisse, Thomson Reuters and UBS among others.
Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member