The operator of the global stock exchange, Nasdaq, is exploring the possibility of storing asset ownership information on a blockchain.
A recent patent application to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office shows the company's outline of how it could utilise a distributed ledger to keep a record of who owns an asset, as well as provide digital wallets to enable owners to access their assets.
The application acknowledges each block's cryptographic hash value as an appealing feature, exclaiming that the fact a blockchain is immune to modification from malicious third parties serves as an effective security protocol for protecting the data of asset ownership.
Users can maintain privacy even when using a public blockchain; a fact that only further increases the attractiveness of the technology, according to the patent application.
Nasdaq's commitment would be to a distributed network in which each node would contain a copy of the blockchain's data, as expressed in the application.
Nasdaq's interest should only be interpreted as them looking into distributed ledgers for the storage of ownership information, however, they are not necessarily committing fully to the technology.
The application asserts that although there is clearly great potential in distributed ledger technologies such as blockchain, they still require improvements in performance, efficiency and overall capability.
There has been concern expressed by the stock exchange in the past about blockchain technology. Earlier in November, Nasdaq Clearing's head of product development, Gustaf von Boisman, stated that the technology could not be immediately integrated into their existing systems.
At that time, Boisman asserted that the issues with the technology revolved around how to integrate blockchain-based systems with other existing financial systems. With this kind of guidance in place, developers of distributed ledger technologies will be able to work on preparing them for future integration into mainstream financial markets - it could be just a matter of time.