Nasdaq Declares Blockchain Voting Trial a ‘Success’

Exchange operator Nasdaq has come to some positive conclusions about a blockchain e-voting trial it conducted in Estonia last year.

AccessTimeIconJan 23, 2017 at 3:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 11, 2021 at 1:01 p.m. UTC
10 Years of Decentralizing the Future
May 29-31, 2024 - Austin, TexasThe biggest and most established global event for everything crypto, blockchain and Web3.Register Now

Exchange operator Nasdaq has released its conclusions about a blockchain e-voting trial it conducted in Estonia last year.

A new Nasdaq report, published today, details the project, which it unveiled in February 2016. At the time, the company's officials said they hoped to reduce both the complexity and cost of organizing shareholder votes as part of a bid to boost overall participation.

Overall, it concluded: "This model successfully demonstrated how a blockchain could be used for something other than transaction settlement."

Nasdaq leveraged information from Estonia’s e-Residency platform as a basis for creating voting accounts.

Working with blockchain startup Chain, Nasdaq developed a system in which digital assets signifying voting rights – and tokens to be used to actually cast votes – were distributed to shareholders. Nasdaq first announced its partnership with the startup in mid-2015.

Here’s how Nasdaq describes the system as it functions:

"The system uses the blockchain in the traditional way to record the ownership of securities as reported by the CSD. Based on those holdings, the system also issues voting right assets and voting token assets for each shareholder. A user may spend voting tokens to cast their votes on each meeting agenda item if they also own the voting right asset."

Feedback from the test was positive overall, the firm said. At the same time, participants highlighted the need for more mobile support, specifically a dedicated app through which votes could be cast.

Among those testing the solution were LHV Group, which has explored the tech in the past, developing a digital wallet that uses bitcoin as a payment rail.

Elsewhere, a number of exchanges worldwide have been exploring the same concept in recent months, along with proxy voting firms like Broadridge. Nasdaq's next steps include applying the framework and lessons learned from the Estonia project to other areas.

"We will explore how this successful [proof-of-concept] can potentially be applied to other Nasdaq internal and client-facing solutions," the company said.

Disclosure: CoinDesk is a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which has an ownership stake in Chain. 

Voting image via Shutterstock


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk's longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to to register and buy your pass now.