Nasdaq partners with blockchain firm R3 to help institutions build their own digital asset marketplaces

Quick Take

  • Nasdaq has entered an agreement with blockchain software firm R3 to develop technology that lets financial institutions create their own tokens and digital asset marketplaces
  • According to Nasdaq’s head of digital assets Johan Toll, blockchain technology is gaining more traction as a way to streamline certain business transactions

Nasdaq has partnered with blockchain software firm R3 to develop technology that helps centralized institutions create digital asset marketplaces. 

Founded in 2014, R3 is behind the Corda blockchain, an open-source platform that allows users to build blockchain applications on top of it. In 2018, the firm released Corda Enterprise, a commercial version of the network.

The goal of the new collaboration, which R3 announced Wednesday, is to offer businesses a platform to easily create tokens and digital marketplaces. It will provide support for a given asset's whole "life cycle" - including issuance, trading, settlement, and custody - according to Nasdaq’s head of digital assets Johan Toll.

Toll said that since R3 was "among the first blockchain pioneers" to serve traditional financial institutions, it is well-positioned to work with Nasdaq to meet what he calls a growing demand for digital asset-related services in other industries like healthcare and shipping.

“In the near future, many processes that incumbent marketplaces currently operate manually will likely shift to a digitalized workflow, enabling market participants to connect easily with one another to trade those assets,” he said. “They will also be looking to expand their product coverage by digitalizing assets traditionally dealt with bilaterally in OTC or manual and paper-based markets.”

Toll added that Nasdaq’s partnership with R3 is non-exclusive, and that the company will continue to work with other blockchain providers, including Symboint.


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Yilun joined The Block in November 2019. She has a policy background and extensive experience in reporting and writing. She has worked on stories ranging from business to politics.