Nasdaq is working on its plan to launch bitcoin futures and, has recently posted a job opening on LinkedIn for senior software developer with a deep interest in Blockchain and Machine learning. This opening indicates that Nasdaq is working diligently and could be executing its crypto plans in time.

Nasdaq hiring for a division that provides a solution to capital markets

According to the job description put forward by Nasdaq, the exchange is looking for Senior Software Developer, who can design, develop, modify, adapt and implement solutions to the exchange’s information technology needs by means of new and existing applications, system architecture and application infrastructure.

The post also states that the candidate will be working for the “Enterprise Architecture and Innovation group in Boston” which focuses on cutting-edge technologies and solutions for the capital markets. This group is actively engaged in building solutions in blockchain and machine learning space.

Under the requirements section, the post speaks about the following:

  • A strong computer science background in algorithms, compilers and database systems. Deep interest and knowledge in Blockchain and Machine learning.
  • Experience in full stack development using NodeJs, ReactJs, and big data stores like MongoDB and Cassandra

Since, the vacancy is in the department which looks after the capital market solutions, in all probability it seems the hiring is for the project of bitcoin futures which the exchange had announced in November.

According to a representative from the investment management firm, Nasdaq had earlier announced its partnership with VanEck to launch cryptocurrency products, including derivatives.

In October 2018, the exchange had also announced Nasdaq’s Financial Framework will be integrated with Microsoft’s Azure blockchain to build a platform that does not rely on one particular distributed ledger.

The hiring looks a progressive step in Nasdaq crypto endeavors. With the top exchange slowly building its crypto army, is a positive sign for the complete eco-system. How and when these projects will be executed is something the community has to wait for.

*This post is credited to CoinGape

It’s been a long time coming, but 2019 will finally see the cryptocurrency market make its mark on traditional finance in a tangible way.

While some will immediately point to Bitcoin futures contracts as evidence that it’s already happened — such as those offered by the CME and CBOE — these are a simple half-measure designed to let some accredited investors and hedge funds get exposure to crypto volatility.

The real crypto market has been cut out of this equation. Cash settled futures, which represent how Bitcoin is traded on these enormous centralized exchanges, put no pressure on supply or demand for the cryptocurrency itself because at no point during the trade is any real Bitcoin changing hands.

The Jan. 7 launch of a new Nasdaq-powered crypto DX.Exchange is the biggest signifier yet that the status quo is shifting. It’s not that institutional finance suddenly cares about including the cryptocurrency community, but that it has realized that cryptocurrency can aid its long-term goals for inclusive, cost-effective and cross-border asset exchange. DX.Exchange will soon offer tokenized stocks on the blockchain in a way that brings these two disparate markets together harmoniously for the first time.

Two Sides of the Same Coin

Cryptocurrency and stocks have been circling each other for years. Take the ICO fundraising model, for instance, which mimics how an IPO issues shares representing equity ownership in a public company. However, tokenholders aren’t the same as shareholders and often don’t enjoy the same voting rights or accountability, and regulators have already cracked down on the practice.

Additionally, during the cryptocurrency bull market of 2017, many publicly-traded stocks incorporated blockchain into their operations and even their company names, trying to capture some of the mania pushing crypto prices higher.

These are both unsustainable ideas, but not surprising considering that a two-way bridge between the crypto and equity markets is one of the last remaining hurdles for blockchain. Attempts by either market to adopt traits of or circumvent the other are equally untenable. Also, not only has cryptocurrency been shunned by the derivative crypto assets traded today, the financial industry itself now feels isolated from the great things happening in crypto.

Seeing these trends play out, some of the biggest names in traditional finance such as Bloomberg, NASDAQ and MPS Marketplace Securities have put their heads together to offer a solution.

It’s coalesced in NASDAQ partner DX.Exchange, which already offers peer-to-peer trading of cryptocurrencies, but in conjunction with these venerable institutions will now be able to issue blockchain tokens that mirror the live share prices of publicly-traded companies. Not only this, but the tokens are physically-backed 1:1 by the shares they represent, so when you send Bitcoin to your DX wallet and exchange it for Facebook Token or Apple Token, for example, you’ve just diversified your crypto portfolio with real shares in actual companies.

How Does It Work?

An innovative stack of utility supports this simple idea and is maintained by several of the world’s biggest financial firms. When a person with Bitcoin or Ethereum wishes to buy tokenized shares of stock, they can simply log in to DX.Exchange and place a buy order for the chosen shares. Simultaneously, MPS MarketPlace Securities purchases and holds the physical shares (not cash-settled futures), while issuing the appropriate number of ERC20 tokens representing the physical shares.

Following this step, tokens are handed to the buyer through DX.Exchange to fill the trade. MPS also stores these shares and adjusts its holdings based on live DX demand. The exchange of crypto-to-stocks is handled by NASDAQ’s FIX (Financial Information Exchange) system, a sophisticated messaging protocol used to send and confirm transactions between parties while preventing manipulation.

A Beneficial Blending of Markets

The fact that tokens are physically backed by stocks means that demand from the crypto market for these assets will impact share prices, just as a (potentially) upcoming ETF settled in BTC would provide demand for Bitcoin and impact its price. It also means more liquidity and volume for the stock market, and the chance to trade stocks on a 24/7 basis rather than being shut out at the close.

For cryptocurrency investors and traders, it also represents an opportunity to diversify their crypto-heavy portfolios without transferring in and out of fiat, as well as store their stocks on ERC20 wallets like the Trezor or Ledger Nano S. They can also invest in stocks cross-market, meaning the ability to buy shares of companies in Tokyo as well as those in the U.S. without going through multiple difficult (and for some, impossible) permissions processes.

By far the most important concept is compliance, however. Besides working alongside NASDAQ and partnering with the Bloomberg Crypto Center, DX is also regulated by the Estonian Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), which opens DX to EU customers who demand a regulated and fully-compliant trading experience.

We’re slowly entering into an era where the internet of value is being liberated, and strangely enough, it’s at the behest of those who once saw blockchain as a harbinger of evolution. As financial institutions and blockchain ideas increasingly find common ground, retail investors will find new opportunities to enjoy the emerging age of democratized finance.

*This post is credited to The Street

One of the oldest questions in cryptocurrency is whether Bitcoin is tethered to the performance of the overall stock market. The current crypto market rally could indicate that Bitcoin and other altcoins are independent from dips in U.S. stocks.

The U.S. Stock Market Plunges

Up until the Q3 of this year, the stock market has performed exceptionally well compared to the cryptocurrency markets. As the crypto markets slogged through a year of losses, the U.S. stock market was experiencing another strong year of performance coming out of 2017.

However, beginning early October, the S&P 500, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, and the Nasdaq Composite Index wiped out most of 2018’s gains.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average experienced some of its largest losses since 1931—the time of the Great Depression—losing 16.3 percent since October. The Nasdaq Composite Index (COMP) is even set to close in a bear market (usually defined as a drop of at least 20 percent from a recent peak).

The fall in stock prices is attributed to a chorus of investor concerns, including the pace of the Federal Reserve’s interest rate increases, the looming U.S. government shut down, concerns over the U.S. China trade war, and signs that the international economy is stalling.

Cryptocurrency Market’s Santa Rally

As of this week, the cryptocurrency markets have experienced a strong Christmas rally. Bitcoin is up 22.6 percent, going from $3,270 back to $4,000. And, for the first time in nearly a year, the overall crypto-markets have outperformed Bitcoin, gaining 28.7 percent and adding an additional $30 billion in market capitalization. For reference, the S&P 500 is down 6.7 percent since Monday.

That said, both the S&P and the cryptocurrency markets have experienced large losses since October. The S&P 500 is down 17 percent from October highs, while the crypto-markets were still in the midst of a bear trend, dropping 40 percent and shedding $90 billion in market capitalization.

Long-Term Implications

Nonetheless, the crypto market’s Christmas break out could have other implications. A long-standing question among crypto traders has been whether the U.S. stock markets and cryptocurrency markets are correlated. Some have even speculated that Bitcoin could act as a safe haven during stock market downturns, although most major news outlets including Forbes and CNBC have dismissed the claim.

Ryan Rabaglia, head of trading with a cryptocurrency dealing firm OSL in Hong Kong, told Bloomberg that:

“The days of crypto being the safe-haven play and having a high degree of detachment from the rest of the world are seemingly diminishing.”

Yet, the most recent crypto-market rally could refute Rabaglia’s statement. As the stock market tumbles, the recent crypto rally could reaffirm that the stock markets and cryptocurrency market are untethered.

Travis Kling, a crypto portfolio manager, reaffirms that idea:

CryptoSlate will release another report in the coming week with an analysis of the beta (correlation) between the stock market and the price of Bitcoin.

Even if Bitcoin is not deemed a conventional safe haven asset, independence from the U.S. stock market could make crypto useful for a host of different trading strategies. Fund managers may want to include Bitcoin in diversified portfolios, retirees may include crypto in their 401Ks, and speculators can rest at ease knowing the stock markets won’t bring down cryptocurrency with it.

Bitcoin | BTC

UPDATED: DECEMBER 23, 2018 AT 12:38 PM PDT

$3,993.89 | 1.39%

Bitcoin, currently ranked #1 by market cap, is up 1.39% over the past 24 hours. BTC has a market cap of $69.65B with a 24 hour volume of $6.21B.

Bitcoin is up 1.39% over the past 24 hours.

American software corporation Microsoft will integrate its Azure Blockchain technology into stock exchange Nasdaq Inc.’s Financial Framework (NFF), according to an Oct. 30 press release.

Per the recent announcement, Microsoft will integrate its Azure blockchain service with NFF, a technology which provides software for trading infrastructure and operations outsourcing, and fulfills Nasdaq’s risk and surveillance technology offering.

Within the collaboration, the parties will reportedly develop a “ledger agnostic blockchain capability” that will allow for operability across multiple ledgers. The new product will purportedly facilitate easier buyer and seller matching, management of delivery, and payment and settlement of transactions.

Integrating Azure Blockchain will reportedly allow NFF customers to deploy various blockchains through one common interface, in addition to promoting blockchain development.

Tom Fay, Senior Vice President of Enterprise Architecture at Nasdaq, said that the partnership with Microsoft removes some of the complexities of integrating blockchain technology into existing infrastructures. He added:

“Our NFF integration with their blockchain services provides a layer of abstraction, making our offering ledger-agnostic, secure, highly scalable, and ultimately helps us continue to explore a much broader range of customer use cases for blockchain.”

Recently, Nasdaq revealed a new blockchain patent, which makes reference to “an information computer system […] provided for securely releasing time-sensitive information to recipients via a blockchain.” With the patent, the company is reportedly looking to ease releasing timely information to the media while keeping it secure and watertight from a legal standpoint.

Last month in an interview with Cointelegraph, Nasdaq’s Head of Alternative Data Bill Dague said that it is exploring adding crypto datasets to its market analytics tool. However, whether or not the exchange will launch a crypto-related product remains to be seen.

In August, Azure introduced a proof-of-authority (PoA) algorithm on its Ethereum blockchain product. A PoA algorithm is based on the principle of approved identities or validators on a blockchain, and does not require competition in completing the transactions.

The new Ethereum product on Azure is equipped with a number of features to ensure its correct functioning and security, such as an identity leasing system, Parity’s web-assembly support, Azure Monitor, and a Governance Decentralized Application (DApp).

*This post is credited to CoinTelegraph

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has granted Nasdaq a patent for a blockchain-powered newswire service.

The platform aims to use smart contracts to incorporate encryption and workflow features as well as maintaining a log that becomes more difficult to change over time.

Nasdaq Gets Patent for Blockchain Newswire to Solve Gaps in Audit Trail Gaps and Errors

The patent, filed on January 27, 2017, is authored by Akbar Ansari, director of technology and chief architecture of global software development at NASDAQ. Senior vice president of enterprise architecture Thomas Fay and vice president Dominick Paniscotti also filed the patent.

The document recognizes that newswire services have addressed needs of the people and organizations, including encryption features, advanced access control functionality, and workflow functionality, but these features can lead to audit trail gaps (or no audit trail at all), and the increased complexity can lead to errors.

“Thus, new and improved techniques and systems for delivering and securing such time-sensitive information are continually sought after,” the document reads.

The patent describes, as an example, a computer system that enables users to securely record time-sensitive information (e.g., announcements, press releases, regulatory filings, and the like) along with associated meta-data using blockchain technology.

“The computer system and blockchain are programmed to allow dissemination of the information directly to selected parties at a set scheduled time by using programs or scripts […] that have been added to the blockchain according to certain example embodiments. Access to the sensitive information that is stored on the blockchain may include a multi-signature requirement that is part of the embedded scripts that make up a given blockchain transaction.”

In the example above, the intended recipients of the information are then able to directly interface with the blockchain at the scheduled time […] to access information that has been securely stored thereon, the document says.

Apart from building blockchain solutions, Nasdaq has been active in investing in crypto-friendly businesses, including the $190 million acquisition of exchange and real-time clearing technology provider Cinnober. The Stockholm-based firm delivers “high performance trading and post-trade solution” for cryptocurrency exchanges.

The Nasdaq stock exchange is also looking to add cryptocurrency tracking tools in its Analytics Hub in order to provide investors and traders with relevant information for their investment decisions. The service uses machine learning and language processing to scour social media and other sources of information. The cryptocurrency feature is currently in the beta testing phase, according to sources at Nasdaq.

*This post is credited to News BTC

Patents are complex legal documents that are used in modern business for protecting important pieces of intellectual property. While they are applied in pretty much all branches of today’s industry, they are especially popular when it comes to emerging technologies.

As such, many were in a rush to patent as many aspects of the blockchain technology as possible. The result is today’s situation, where all the largest financial services companies in the world are struggling with blockchain patents. Naturally, some are more successful than others, but all of them are in a rush to change and control the new tech.

Blockchain Patenting Game

Blockchain technology is still considered to be in its infancy, but even so, it holds a lot of potential to completely change the way business is done in modern times. It can safely store data, and protect it from being altered and manipulated. As such, it can seriously impact every branch of today’s industries, and at the same time, it continues to constantly grow and evolve.

Whenever a new breakthrough is made, or a new use case is found, large companies return to the struggle of getting a patent for it. Back in 2017, different companies in the United States alone managed to file over 190 blockchain-related patents.

So far, these patents have been split into two different types, or categories — blockchain specific and cryptocurrency specific patents. Cryptocurrency specific patents are mostly owned by crypto startups and individuals, while blockchain specific patents are usually owned by companies like the Bank of America, IBM, and others. Most of such patents are coming from China, which has filed around 600 of them in 2017 alone.

7 Largest Patent-Holding Companies Right Now

1. Nasdaq

There are numerous companies that hold blockchain specific patents in the world, but Nasdaq is currently the only stock exchange among them. It has a market cap of $6.8 trillion, which makes it the second-biggest stock exchange in the world. It also makes it one of the most important adopters of this technology on this list.

The company filed a patent for an exchange system based on blockchain technology back in 2016. They also filed one for a blockchain-based data matching system recently. The company is using this technology in order to create a new cloud platform based on the blockchain, called Linq. The platform would combine Nasdaq’s exchange with the financial network of Citi Group in order to allow investors to trade securities.

All of this is being done under the supervision of Chain, another blockchain firm which is based on the cloud technology.

2. Qualcomm

Officially, Qualcomm describes itself as a mobile tech firm. However, many have an alternative description for them, which is “patent trolls”. These are firms that are filing patents only so that they can license them and demand a payment from other companies that wish to use them. Apple is one of the firms that seemingly fell into this trap, and is currently suing Qualcomm because they demand a percentage of Apple’s iPhone sales.

PateSnap claims that Qualcomm has more than 46,000 patents at the moment, with 100,000 being still in form of an application. Most of them are in the area of digital information transmission, which also includes blockchain technology.

3. Coinbase

Next, we have Coinbase, the leading crypto exchange, which is also based in the US. Apart from being the largest exchange, Coinbase is also a leader among the exchanges in regards to the number of filed patents. Many would describe the Exchange’s relationship with patents as ‘complicated’. This is due to the fact that they even decided to sign a Patent Pledge, which forbids them to use patents against firms with fewer than 25 employees.

Additionally, the exchange’s CEO, Brian Armstrong, explained their decision to patent blockchain. He claims that the Bitcoin community was created on the idea of openness, as well as that of decentralization. Because of this, patenting this technology is not exactly the right way to go. Still, the creation of a tech business cannot be done without obtaining patents, which is why the exchange does it anyway.

Coinbase simply wants to protect itself from patent trolls such as Qualcomm.

4. Fidelity

Fidelity is also actively working on patenting as much of the blockchain as possible. Thanks to their efforts and careful calculations, the company is currently managing around $6.9 trillion in customer assets. This makes Fidelity the fourth largest company when it comes to managed capital.

They also recently partnered up with Coinbase, meaning that their users will likely have the ability to combine their Fidelity investments with their crypto investments.

5. Mastercard

Next, there is Mastercard. This is one credit card company that takes blockchain development extremely seriously. They offer two different services at the moment, which are Smart Contract API and Blockchain Core API. Smart Contract API allows users to write their own smart contracts, while the other one allows businesses to use Mastercard’s network for processing blockchain-based transactions.

These transactions are often much faster thanks to Mastercard’s own, specially developed new technology.

The company filed a patent back in July of this year, and it concerns a new way to process cryptos via the same framework that is being used for fiat currencies. This would speed up transactions even more, while it would simultaneously reduce the risks since this technology has had decades to properly develop and grow to perfection.

6. IBM

Nearing the end of the list, we have IBM. IBM has a long history of investing in the blockchain, and they share the second place regarding the number of patents with previously discussed Mastercard. In fact, IBM has filed around 9,043 patents in 2017 alone. They also cover the new method of safely accepting payments from untrusted parties via the blockchain.

The company’s Blockchain Platform has more than 400 customers at the moment, and it relies on special tools used for creating a business-specific blockchain. Their most recently accepted patent proposes a new system that would make database managing easier and more efficient. Of course, it would be done via the blockchain.

7. Bank Of America

While this list has had some firms with an impressive number of patents, none of them has filed more patents in 2017 than the Bank of America itself. The company’s CTO, Catherine Bessant, recently stated that they have just under 50 patents in the blockchain technology.

This is all a part of their plan to acquire as much intellectual property as possible. They understand that owning the right technology will give them the competitive edge in the world of finances. As such, the blockchain is likely at the top of their wish list.

Despite this, the Bank remains firmly against Bitcoin, and they even banned its purchase earlier this year. This will likely remain so until they can create their own crypto wallet and find a way to charge their own fees for using digital currencies. Obviously, despite the BTC ban, they are still working hard on entering this space, and they even filed a patent on a new crypto transformation system about a year ago.

Which Company Has Filed The Most Patents?

As mentioned before, firms that are the most interested in filing blockchain specific patents are usually those from the financial services industry. According to data from Envision IP, around 124 blockchain patents in the US are filed by only 5 firms. The biggest ones among them are Fidelity, Bank of America, and Mastercard — all of which are financial services companies.

While it might seem strange that companies like Facebook and Google have not entered the rush with the same enthusiasm, there is a reason for that too. The reason is that this technology is currently in a state that best suits banks and credit card companies. In its current form, it is perfect for keeping records and sending payments, which is exactly what firms like these need.

*This post is credited to BitcoinExchangeGuide

  • Stock for the New York beverage company Long Island Iced Tea Company jumped by nearly 300% after it announced it was changing its name to the the “Long Blockchain Company” last December.
  • The company announced it was shifting its focus from non-alcoholic beverages to blockchain technology and said that it planned to purchase 1,000 bitcoin mining rigs and partner with a blockchain-focused fintech company.
  • Recently, the SEC began investigating the company, although few details regarding the investigation have emerged.

When a New York-based beverage company called Long Island Iced Tea announced that it planned to change its name to “Long Blockchain Company” during the height of the cryptocurrency craze last December, its stock jumped by nearly 500%.

The newly rebranded Long Blockchain Company’s foray into the cryptocurrency-inspired technology was more than just a marketing strategy. Long Blockchain Co. followed up with a series of announcements that suggest that the beverage company had serious ambitions as a technology company — despite having no blockchain assets at the time of the announcements.

“Long Island Iced Tea Corp. is now focused on developing and investing in globally scalable blockchain technology solutions,” the company announced last December. “[… It] is shifting its primary corporate focus towards the exploration of and investment in opportunities that leverage the benefits of blockchain technology.”

So far, the company’s pursuits in blockchain technology include the addition of two technology entrepreneurs to its board, a new CEO, plans to purchase 1,000 bitcoin mining machines, and a forthcoming partnership with a British, blockchain-focused fintech company.

But now, the company’s blockchain involvement has drawn scrutiny from the Security and Exchange Commission. Bloomberg reports the SEC has been investigating the Long Island Iced Tea with a request for documents dating back to early July.

Long Blockchain Company, which didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment from Business Insider, told Bloomberg that they fully intend on cooperating with the SEC’s investigation.

For now, the beverage company’s pivot to blockchain looks like it might have been only a short-lived success. Since December, the company’s market value dwindled to under $5 million after the Nasdaq said it planned to delist its stock.

*This post is credited to Businessinsider.