Nasdaq wants to disrupt blockchain

The CEO of US stock exchange company Nasdaq has said she wants the company to be a blockchain disrupter, fully embracing the technology to make markets more efficient and effective.

In interview with Fortune Magazine, CEO Adena Friedman set out her views on blockchain, and her plans for the technology at Nasdaq in the coming years.

Nasdaq is already well placed to comment on blockchain and digital currency, with its Market Technology division currently serving software solutions to some nine digital currency exchanges. Friedman said blockchain technology had already been demonstrating its worth in weeding out market manipulation and other illegal practices in digital currency markets.

However, despite the bullish view, she noted some limitations with existing infrastructure, namely around the lack of scale potential on blockchains like BTC.

“The crypto trading technology today is just not in a position to be able to support the level of trading activity that we experience in the equities and options markets. We’re dealing with 3 million messages a second, 62 billion messages in an eight-hour period.”

It’s worth noting that the limitation Friedman’s referring to has long been resolved. The BSV Enterprise Blockchain already surpassed other chains not just in blocks mined—two gigabyte-sized blocks were successfully mined on the BSV network—but also to become the most data-rich Bitcoin network, with total data stored on-chain reaching 494.99 GB compared to BTC’s 358.07 GB as of August 2021, according to Blockchair data.

Looking forward to the next 10 years, Friedman said Nasdaq would develop a better understanding of the technology and how it works, while focusing on ways of bringing the technology to the market.

“Over the next decade, there will be a greater understanding of how we can make the markets more efficient and effective using the blockchain. We’re really focused on how we can bring this technology into the markets and be a disrupter ourselves.”

Nasdaq’s Market Technology division backed R3’s Corda blockchain for tokenized assets back in April 2020. The company is a founding member of the InterWork Alliance for developing token standards and has already developed a reputation as an innovator and early adopter in the blockchain space.

With the CEO casting her eye to a greater role for blockchain in the future, Nasdaq expects to retain and build on the market leading position it has developed.

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