Nasdaq to Debut Pilot for New Blockchain-Powered E-Voting System for Shareholders
Shareholders of companies listed on Nasdaq’s Tallinn Stock Exchange, Estonia’s securities market, will soon be able to vote in shareholder meetings using a new blockchain-enabled e-voting system – Nasdaq’s second blockchain project.
Nasdaq has teamed up with the Republic of Estonia to use the country’s e-Residency platform to facilitate the new blockchain-powered proxy voting system.
Estonia’s e-Residency platform is an electronic identity system used by Estonian residents and those with business interests in the country to access government services through the e-Residency digital authentication.
Nasdaq will launch the program’s pilot some time this year, which will enable shareholders who are Estonian or Estonian e-residents to participate in the corporate governance of companies more conveniently and securely.
According to Nasdaq, Estonia’s e-Residency scheme will improve the ability to authenticate shareholders for e-voting, while blockchain technology will provide greater efficiency and security, as well as “[streamline] a proxy voting process that has historically been labor-intensive and fragmented.”
“When we started the e-Residency project a year ago we knew we would change the way people think about nations and citizenship,” Kaspar Korjus, Program Director, e-Residency, said in a statement on February 12. “Now, via our e-voting collaboration with Nasdaq, we will be revolutionizing corporate governance.”
Nasdaq’s President Hans-Ole Jochumsen, believes that “Estonia’s robust information society and forward thinking coupled with the agility its size affords, creates a unique opportunity to premiere the e-voting pilot.”
“On the heels of the successful execution of a Blockchain transaction in the US private market, we are pleased to further advance this technology in Estonia.”
In December last year, Nasdaq successfully completed and recorded a private securities transaction using the company’s blockchain-enabled Linq platform.
Chain.com, a blockchain developer and partner of Nasdaq, was an inaugural client of Nasdaq’s Linq and documented its issuance of shares to a private investor using the technology.
Nasdaq first announced its intention to develop several applications for blockchain using its Estonian settling and clearing business in November 2015.
Back then, Jochumsen indicated that the applications would be focused on improving the proxy voting process for companies, company registration and public pension registration, which Nasdaq has a contract to manage with the government of Estonia of around US$1.3 million.
“It’s a smaller country, so it’s not very complex in size, and there is a government that is very keen to use technology,” Jochumsen told Reuters. “They claim that they are in the forefront of using technology in the public center worldwide.”