Nasdaq begins Blockchain discussions with rivals

Nasdaq wants to initiate global conversation on how blockchain can improve industry processes.

Nasdaq has opened discussions with other exchanges to consider how Blockchain technology can be deployed globally to improve trading and settlement practices.

Speaking to The Trade, Adam Kostyal, head of European listings at Nasdaq, said these discussions are in keeping with the exchange’s ongoing investment in Blockchain technology.

He explained: “We have made significant efforts in trying to understand where Blockchain can be deployed. Blockchain for us is a reality.”

The business launched a well-documented private trading platform called Linq towards the end of last year. The Blockchain-powered platform allows private companies to trade their shares, even before they go public.

Kostyal said Blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI) are now the two main areas of focus for the group as far as technological investment is concerned and stressed the need for regulators to keep pace with FinTech innovation.

He explained: “Regulation has to evolve. You can’t over-regulate at the beginning but the regulators have to have their ear to the ground – Not too early or they risk slowing down development.

“The important thing is to make sure that you evolve step-by-step.  Regulators are different in each market.  In the UK, regulators have been very proactive but in other markets, they are not.”

Kostyal acknowledges that it can be difficult for regulators to set rules and police markets that are not yet fully formed, but stressed that regulators need to evolve their approach.

He said: “You have to make sure you know the mistakes being made. You have to make sure that the credibility and sustainability of institutions are being upheld.”

Kostyal is addressing delegates at the inaugural FinTech conference MoneyConf in Madrid this week.