The blockchain technology race has just opened a new front, this time with a potentially significant joint project in the fintech sector. New York-based exchange operator Nasdaq is integrating its Financial Framework with Microsoft Azure Blockchain as the world’s second-largest stock platform continues to actively embrace the capabilities of the technology that underpins crypto assets.
In a joint statement, the two firms say Azure will deliver communication between the Nasdaq’s offering for financial infrastructure providers and their customer technologies in order enable them to meet their requirements across multiple projects.
This collaboration opens the door for the blockchain technology to manage the delivery, payment, and settlement of transactions that may reside on multiple blockchains with different payment mechanisms.
“With multiple blockchains in use by various industry participants, we believe that the combination of NFF and Microsoft’s blockchain technology can remove some of the project complexities that exist in this realm,” says Tom Fay, VP of Enterprise Architecture at Nasdaq.
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Nasdaq Financial Framework hopes to enable clients easily experiment with new applications such as smart contracts, without them having to build the infrastructure from scratch or require an in-depth knowledge of cryptocurrency.
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As an open and scalable platform, Microsoft Azure claims to support a rapidly growing number of distributed ledger technologies that address specific business and technical requirements for security, performance, and operational processes.
When the service first launched, the original implementation was with Ethereum, facilitated by Brooklyn-based startup ConsenSys. Over the last few years, Microsoft announced that a number of financial institutions have signed up to the Ethereum BaaS.
Meanwhile, the news is noteworthy as the second-largest exchange in the world has quietly been building bridges between blockchain and mainstream financial markets. Nasdaq is already supporting existing crypto exchanges which lends more credence to that notion. Further, the Nasdaq-powered exchange, DX Exchange, went on a marketing blitz and managed to onboard 500,000 registered users.
Also in July, Nasdaq hosted a meeting in Chicago where about half a dozen cryptocurrency and mainstream companies discussed ‘how to encourage the cryptocurrency industry to do [a] thing that will improve its image and validate its potential role in global markets.’
Nasdaq has collaborated with cryptocurrency exchange Gemini, which attended the meeting, to tap its SMARTS Market Surveillance, an industry benchmark technology used across Wall Street, to add more security and identify criminal trading behavior in its venue. It also partnered with San Diego based ETF firm, Reality Shares, to launch two blockchain-related funds.