Tech 25 October 2018

Dan Taylor

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 referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.

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