Announcing a Return to our Roots: The All-New Bitcoin Magazine

Nasdaq, LHV Bank, Technology Startups Develop Blockchain-Based Fintech Applications in Estonia

by

         Nasdaq, LHV Bank, Technology Startups Develop Blockchain-Based Fintech Applications in Estonia

The leading stock exchange Nasdaq is no newcomer to the brave new world of blockchain technology. In May, Bitcoin Magazine reported that Nasdaq would begin experimenting with the blockchain technology that powers Bitcoin, starting with a pilot project in Nasdaq Private Market , a marketplace that handles pre-IPO trading among private companies.

Interestingly, Nasdaq didn’t plan to develop an alternative blockchain. Rather, the company said that it would leverage the colored coin protocol Open Assets, which works on the original Bitcoin blockchain. In June, Nasdaq partnered with San Francisco-based bitcoin API startup Chain to implement the Bitcoin blockchain technology. 

Nasdaq is scheduled to launch the pilot project operationally later this year, helping companies keep track of the shares they issue and enabling them to almost instantaneously settle transactions, Nasdaq Co-President Hans-Ole Jochumsen, said in an interview reported by Reuters.

Jochumsen added that Nasdaq is planning to develop several blockchain applications through its operations in Estonia. Nasdaq owns the Tallinn Stock Exchange, Estonia's only regulated secondary securities market, as well as the Estonian Central Securities Depository (ECSD).

The ECSD administers share registers for all joint stock companies operating in Estonia, as well as all securities and pension accounts opened in the country and other electronic securities, such as private company shares, bonds and securities transactions histories. The ECSD also provides clearing and settlement services for securities trading, payments of corporate dividends and interest, and other securities-related services.

"[Estonia is] a smaller country, so it's not very complex in size, and there is a government that is very keen to use technology,” said Jochumsen. “They claim that they are in the forefront of using technology in the public center worldwide."

Estonia is, indeed, a leader in deploying advanced communication technologies in the administration and public services sectors.  In 2014, Estonia invited anyone, anywhere, to become an e-citizen of the Estonian digital society, open a bank account in Estonia, or start a business. The Estonian e-Residency program, launched on December 1, 2014, is an innovative and potentially disruptive initiative that enables anyone with an Internet connection to establish a financial base in Estonia, with no need of being physically present.

Banks and startups in Estonia are developing financial service applications based on the blockchain, which use the same technology – colored coins on the Bitcoin blockchain – selected by Nasdaq, and could be related to Nasdaq’s initiatives in Estonia.

In particular, LHV Bank is developing CUBER (Cryptographic Universal Blockchain Entered Receivables), a new kind of certificate of deposit designed to be used to store or generate value, transfer value, manage liquidity and automate transactions between machines, which can be used as a building block for innovative financial products, Finextra reported in June. LHV claims it is the first bank in the world to experiment with real programmable money, issuing receivables in the form of colored coins.

In parallel, LHV Bank set up fintech technology startup Cuber Technology, which together with Swedish “blockchain 2.0” company ChromaWay is developing the IOS and Android app Cuber Wallet for fast, free, peer-to-peer (P2P) mobile fiat currency payment.

Both CUBER and Cuber Wallet are built on top of open colored coins technological standard and at the moment use the bitcoin blockchain as a database.

“The potential of CUBER is huge – think telecommunication industry developments last 20 years,” said Rain Lõhmus, CEO of Cuber Technology. “How many new cool applications we are daily using have come out from Development Departments of telecom companies. No, they are coming from startups. This is possible due to the widespread usage of decentralized TCP/IP protocols. We hope CUBER can do something similar to financial industry – liberate innovation from organizational borders, truly decentralize it. And true innovation in financial sector will flourish.”

“Our partnership with LHV Bank and the product Cuber is a milestone,” notes the Chromaway website. “[It] is the first time an established financial [institution] issues assets on the blockchain.”

Recommended

Ten Years Later, a Reflection on Bitcoin’s Genesis and Satoshi’s Timing

Rather than focusing simply on what the genesis block is, today is a day to reflect on what the genesis block represents.

Colin Harper

Op Ed: From Gray To Black and White: Traditional Regulations Come to Crypto

For the crypto industry, recent developments — at both the federal and international levels — signal that the time for plausible deniability or unregulated freedom is coming to an end and more traditional regulations are moving to the forefront.

Courtney Rogers Perrin and Joshua Lewis

Bitcoin Price Analysis: Blowing Through Support Levels on the Way to $3,000

Bitcoin continues to tumble lower and lower as it struggles to claim any footing in the market. It’s down almost 50% in three weeks and it’s showing very little sign of stopping. It’s currently clutching onto the $3,500 values but it doesn’t look like it can hold on much longer.

Bitcoin Schmitcoin

Op Ed: SEC’s Latest Declaration Creates Legal Minefield for Digital Assets

This broad, authoritative declaration is not unexpected, as, to date, the SEC has stated that all digital assets — regardless of whether they function as alt coins or utility tokens — are securities at least initially and, thus, subject to its jurisdiction.

Huhnsik Chung and Nicholas Secara