Nasdaq OMX Group Inc., the entity that owns and operates the NASDAQ stock market, has announced a partnership with startup Chain in testing technology that would allow the creation of private shares on the Bitcoin Blockchain.
Nasdaq will be testing this technology specifically in the Nasdaq Private Market, a private marketplace for the trading of shares of pre-IPO companies. Chain will be selling it's own private shares as part of the trial for this implementation.
Chain is a Silicon Valley based startup launched in 2014, aiming to tackle the financial infrastructure for banking institutions looking to implement blockchain technology. Chain recently partnered with another Bitcoin startup, Gyft, to issue gift card promotions on the Blockchain. Gyft was acquired by First Data last year.
Financial institutions are interested in issuing financial securities, like private company shares, on the Blockchain because of high administrative costs in using current systems. The ability to create immutable tokens that represent these financial instruments allows easier accounting and trading of these shares without the labor-intensive process of updating "who-owns-what" records manually.
While software solutions for the managing of shares currently exists, trusting third parties to run this software isn't ideal. The Blockchain's usability as a distributed, global ledger that automatically updates all records without the need of a central organization mitigates the risk and costs associated with third parties.
Wall Street has shown great interest this year in using the Bitcoin Blockchain. From investment in Bitcoin companies to JPMorgan Executives joining startups, Wall Street and banking leaders see the potential of Bitcoin's technology in disrupting current financial systems.