Microsoft joins Nasdaq in blockchain project for ‘digital ledger interoperability’

Microsoft, through its Azure cloud computing service, will be collaborating with stock exchange company Nasdaq to provide clients with better payment mechanisms.

Microsoft Azure General Manager Matthew Kerner announced the partnership in a blog post, saying that “Azure will deliver highly secure interoperation and communication between the Nasdaq Financial Framework [NFF] core infrastructure, ecosystem middleware and customer technologies, using an innovative blockchain microservices suite to execute transactions and contracts.”

Nasdaq Senior Vice-President of Enterprise Architecture Tom Fay was quoted as saying, “[A]s more industries move towards capital markets technology and structures, we see the potential for blockchain to provide value in secure, frictionless and instantaneous matching of buyers and sellers.”

Kerner said that capital market organizations using applications based on the NFF platform will be able to do so “without the need for ledger-specific skills or knowledge, which is critical as the industry pursues new use cases for distributed ledger technology.”

Fay added, “Delegating to Microsoft—as a best of breed enterprise-quality partner and leader in the blockchain space—to handle all of the semantics of ledger communication, security, deployment and orchestration, allows us to focus on customer challenges and solutions at scale, rather than expending resources on building components that fall outside our core business.”

Kerner noted that it was Nasdaq that first offered the first-ever electronic stock exchange, back in 1971.

Nasdaq has reportedly been exploring a platform for the offering of security tokens, and is in talks with several blockchain firms on the matter. As further evidence of its commitment to blockchain ventures, the company has applied and been granted a patent for the providing of news through the technology, with each news item being recorded and scheduled for release at specific times.

Microsoft has partnered with professional service firm Ernst & Young in using blockchain to manage royalties and content rights. The platform will provide users with real-time access to data pertaining to the content they supply, built on the Quorum blockchain protocol and using Microsoft Azure cloud technology.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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Nasdaq scoops patent for newswire service on the blockchain

Nasdaq has been granted a new patent for a newswire service powered by the blockchain, leveraging the benefits of distributed ledger technology to release news in a securely, timely fashion.

The company, which runs stock exchanges in the United States and elsewhere, filed its patent with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, in the latest charge from a mainstream financial company towards blockchain technology.

In the filing, Nasdaq demonstrates a system that handles timed release of embargoed news to selected distribution outlets, in a secure, efficient way that leverages the specific advantages of blockchain technology.

Noting that there are other technologies performing a similar function at the moment, the patent filing said that the newswire platform would ensure no audit trail gaps, through recording each news release within the blockchain.

The system allows for news to be distributed with specific embargo times and dates, as well as ensuring data around each release is written to the blockchain.

With the help of smart contracts, it will also be possible to integrate new workflow and security features automatically, improving the efficiency news distribution.

The patent documentation describes the need for “new and improved techniques and systems for delivering and securing such time-sensitive information,” which it says “are continually sought after” by newswire and distribution services.

Information can be shared through the newswire to specific parties automatically when the news reaches its embargo deadline, with multi-sig requirements for security and verification.

“Access to the sensitive information that is stored on the blockchain may include a multi-signature requirement that is part of the embedded scripts that make up a given blockchain transaction,” according to the patent. “The intended recipients of the information may then directly interface with the blockchain at the scheduled time … to access information that has been securely stored.”

In particular, the platform promises to offer a more robust audit trail, avoiding the gaps or lack of auditing-friendly facilities within existing systems – another feature provided for by the blockchain solution.

The Nasdaq patent is the latest blockchain IP secured by the firm, at a time of increasing development activity in blockchain from the world of mainstream finance.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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