Nasdaq uses centralized database and pretends it’s blockchain

Recently, Nasdaq’s Market Technology business partnered with R3 in effort to create an “easily accessible, complete solution to issue tokens and build trusted, digital asset marketplaces designed for high security for trading and settling them within an ecosystem that supports growing volumes, as well as business and product development.” But if this is Nasdaq’s goal, is a private blockchain really the solution?

Why it’s better to be public and transparent

It is a good thing that Nasdaq is looking for ways to leverage blockchain technology—this effort of theirs will benefit blockchain and digital currency communities at large. However, doing this on a private, permissioned blockchain is not the right way to go about this. Using a private, permissioned blockchain is no better than the way most traditional asset markets currently operate—within a black box that a majority of the world has no insight into. Ultimately, a private, permissioned blockchain is not much different than a centralized database.

And given that the team at Nasdaq says that, “The R3 collaboration will advance Nasdaq’s efforts in helping digital asset marketplaces strengthen transparency standards to align with their capital markets counterparts as they evolve their businesses,” it really does not make sense that they are using a private permissioned blockchain.

Because Nasdaq is looking to leverage R3’s Corda, a private, permissioned blockchain, the general public will still not be able to see inside the network, where funds are going, who they are coming from, and where they are going to. In essence, by looking to strengthen transparency standards, Nasdaq’s decision to build on Corda will result in a lack of transparency.

It is also easier to manipulate a private blockchain because all it would take is to convince the private actors (permissioned nodes)—all of which you probably know—to accept and push fraudulent data. As you can see, using a private, permissioned blockchain has a number of disadvantages compared to a public, well-regulated chain like Bitcoin.

Why Bitcoin is the perfect fit for Nasdaq

When it comes to issuing tokens and building digital asset marketplaces, and when security and transparency are your priorities, regulation is of the utmost importance.

Bitcoin SV is the leading regulated digital asset. The Bitcoin Association has met with representatives of U.S. government agencies and lawmakers in Washington D.C. to discuss how to build a more lawful and regulation-friendly business ecosystem.

Beyond being highly regulated and legislation-friendly, Bitcoin SV is the perfect fit for Nasdaq because it is transparent. If Nasdaq was really looking to build a system that strengthened transparency then they would use a public blockchain.

Why not build on Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is highly regulated and is already public. If Nasdaq were really looking to strengthen transparency, they would pick a public protocol like Bitcoin, not a private, permissioned blockchain that is no better than a black box or dark pool.

On Bitcoin, every custodian is regulated and there are hundreds of node operators located around the globe. That being said, Bitcoin is inherently more transparent and resistant to manipulation than a private blockchain and only registered tokens that are compliant with legislation would be permitted to launch. Bitcoin would solve all of the problems that Nasdaq is looking to solve with a blockchain that is not well-suited to solve those problems.

Although Nasdaq’s choice to run with R3 Corda is a shortcoming, you do not need to walk down that same path. If you are an enterprise looking for blockchain solutions, we encourage you to use the best blockchain available and to reach out to nChain to get started.

New to Bitcoin? Check out CoinGeek’s Bitcoin for Beginners section, the ultimate resource guide to learn more about Bitcoin—as originally envisioned by Satoshi Nakamoto—and blockchain.