Nasdaq extends blockchain innovation with Estonian shareholders
Estonia’s e-Residency platform will use a blockchain-based e-voting service to allow shareholders of companies listed on Nasdaq’s Tallinn Stock Exchange, to vote in shareholder meetings. The country’s e-Residency platform is an electronic identity system used by both Estonian residents and those with business interests in the country to access government services through e-Residency digital authentication. The program marks the second official blockchain project Nasdaq is executing on after successfully delivering the first private securities issuance between an investor and company via Nasdaq Linq, its blockchain-enabled platform.
As part of the program’s pilot, shareholders who are Estonian or Estonian e-residents will be able to participate in the corporate governance of companies more conveniently and securely than ever before. The e-Residency platform is designed to improve the ability to authenticate shareholders for the e-voting service, while blockchain technology will allow votes to be quickly and securely recorded, streamlining a proxy voting process that has historically been labour-intensive and fragmented. The pilot is aimed to launch in 2016.
“I’m delighted Nasdaq will be using the e-Residency platform to offer shareholders a new e-voting system,” said Kaspar Korjus, Program Director, e-Residency. “When we started the e-Residency project a year ago we knew we would change the way people think about nations and citizenship. Now, via our e-voting collaboration with Nasdaq, we will be revolutionizing corporate governance.”
These interactions are the primary ways that a company’s shareholders interact with corporate management and can shape the future of the company they own. By making e-voting more efficient and secure, the blockchain-based system has the potential to empower shareholders and improve their engagement.
In other news, Nasdaq is acquiring Marketwired, a news and information provider with a reported 8,500 clients, including Forbes 2000 companies, private corporations and public relations agencies. The acquisition is expected to support Nasdaq’s position as a corporate services provider. Subject to customary conditions, the deal will be funded through a mix of debt and cash on hand and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2016.
Reported by Dan Barnes