US stock exchange Nasdaq has won a patent in which it describes a blockchain platform for sharing time-sensitive information.
The patent, which was published by the US Patent and Trademark Office on October 23, outlines how blockchain technology can be utilized to securely store and release embargoed information to the right people at the right time while also providing users with an immutable record of changes made to that information before its release.
The patent mentions that there are legacy systems in place that work well to spread information. Over time, wire services and news distribution services have been modified to meet the needs of individuals and companies that use them. However, the introduction of "encryption features, advanced access control functionality…and/or workflow functionality that allows for the editing, review, and approval of information before it is disseminated" has caused "audit trail gaps." In other words, it's sometimes impossible to see who wrote or edited a specific piece of information.
To fill these gaps, Nasdaq would utilize executable distributed code contracts (aka smart contracts) to allow authorized users to "submit, edit, or approve" certain information at certain times. The patent explains that once a document has been submitted to the blockchain, edits can be stored to the blockchain:
"Additional transactions that are generated based on the edits may effectively provide a proof of custody or audit trail for the document. After completion of the editing process (or if no editing is needed), the document may be finalized and then approved for release by one or more designated approvers. The approvers may cryptographically 'approve' the document for release by providing their cryptographic signature to a blockchain transaction."
Nasdaq has looked to blockchain technology in the past. In March of last year, it announced a partnership with blockchain-based trading platform New York Interactive Advertising Exchange (NYIAX) to create a single platform that allows publishers and advertisers to buy, sell, and trade future advertising inventory. A month later, it created Nasdaq Ventures, an investment arm that seeks out opportunities and partnerships in FinTech, including any related to blockchain technology.