This week, the enterprise blockchain consortium R3, creators of the Corda digital ledger, announced a partnership with Nasdaq, Inc., the financial services giant behind the Nasdaq stock exchange. The goal? Helping big institutions launch and maintain their own digital asset marketplaces.
Unveiled on Wednesday, April 29th, the meld will see the powerhouse corporation’s Market Technology division using Corda in conjunction with the firm’s professional services infrastructure to build out “full lifecycle solutions” for digital asset exchanges.
In an announcement post, the organizations said the collaboration will allow Nasdaq to extend its “broader platform and partnership strategy” while helping Corda to become an increasingly pivotal foundation for businesses looking to “manage the complete [digital] asset lifecycle.” R3’s chief revenue officer Cathy Minter added:
“Financial institutions are becoming increasingly aware of the huge potential for servicing the needs of digital assets. We can help them accommodate these assets … Together with Nasdaq we will provide a world-class platform on which digital asset markets can be built, helping to rapidly accelerate the growth of these markets and others around the globe.”
Institutions Are Coming
In addition to R3’s partnership announcement post, Nasdaq.com published a piece titled “The Journey Toward Digital Assets Institutionalization.”
Therein, Nasdaq’s digital assets lead Johan Toll discussed how blockchain technology and digital assets will see continued adoption by large institutions in the years ahead.
As part of those remarks, Toll noted that in R3 and the Corda project Nasdaq saw ideal partners for helping to service the needs of those coming enterprises:
“We initiated discussions with R3 around its Corda Enterprise platform because it is designed specifically for highly-regulated environments … and R3 is among the first blockchain pioneers to serve the world’s leading centralized financial institutions. Their platform fits well into Nasdaq’s technology ecosystem and by connecting to the platform, we can harness the power of a scalable design that delivers a new level of interoperability and ease of integration to any current legacy technology system.”
Nasdaq’s shifting focus to digital asset marketplaces comes as traditional markets and workflows are trending toward digitalization across the board, Toll noted. The executive added that in such an environment low-friction platforms like Corda will offer the benefits of efficiency, transparency, and interoperability.
“Meanwhile, new types of financial and non-financial marketplaces for trading of digital representations of physical assets and certificates will be created,” Toll said.
R3 Has Its Eyes on the Mainstream
In recent times, R3 and its Corda tech have landed more than a few notable embraces from big mainstream firms.
For example, BNY Mellon — a massive custodian bank that presently secures more than $30 trillion USD of assets — joined the Marco Polo Network, a Corda-powered trade finance network for banks, back in November 2019. The network can help participants lower transaction costs and also bring great assurances when it comes to efficiency, security, and beyond.
“Collaborating with Marco Polo members is one more measure of our commitment to provide innovative opportunities to improve the client experience throughout the transaction lifecycle,” BNY Mellon’s global head of trade finance Joon Kim said at the time.
In September 2019, R3 entered into a strategic partnership with payments giant Mastercard to pilot a new cross-border payments solution aimed at “connecting global … payments infrastructures” to Mastercard’s clearing and settlements network.
A few months prior to the Mastercard partnership, R3 completed trials around its Voltron project, a finance app whose initial tests fielded participation from dozens of major banks including the likes of Alfa Bank, ING, and Societe Generale.
“Voltron uses blockchain technology to reduce the time it takes to execute the entire process of paper-based Letter of Credit from 5-10 days to under 24 hours,” R3 said.