Nasdaq (Nasdaq:NDAQ) and the Republic of Estonia have announced that Estonia's e-Residency platform will be facilitating a blockchain-based e-voting service to allow shareholders of companies listed on Nasdaq's Tallinn Stock Exchange, Estonia's only regulated securities market, to vote in shareholder meetings. The country's e-Residency platform is an electronic identity system used by both Estonian residents and those with business interests in the country to access government services through e-Residency digital authentication. The program marks the second official blockchain project Nasdaq is executing on after successfully delivering the first private securities issuance between an investor and company via Nasdaq Linq, its blockchain-enabled platform.
As part of the program's pilot, shareholders who are Estonian or Estonian e-residents will be able to participate in the corporate governance of companies more conveniently and securely than ever before. The e-Residency platform vastly improves the ability to authenticate shareholders for the e-voting service, while blockchain technology will allow votes to be quickly and securely recorded, streamlining a proxy voting process that has historically been labor-intensive and fragmented. The pilot is aimed to launch in 2016.
"I'm delighted Nasdaq will be using the e-Residency platform to offer shareholders a new e-voting system," said Kaspar Korjus, Program Director, e-Residency. "When we started the e-Residency project a year ago we knew we would change the way people think about nations and citizenship. Now, via our e-voting collaboration with Nasdaq, we will be revolutionizing corporate governance."
Making it easier and safer for shareholders to participate in company meetings and votes is not just a matter of convenience or security; these interactions are the primary ways that a company's shareholders interact with corporate management and shape the future of the company they own. By making e-voting more efficient and secure, the blockchain-based system has the potential to empower shareholders and improve their engagement.
"On the heels of the successful execution of a Blockchain transaction in the US private market, we are pleased to further advance this technology in Estonia," said Hans-Ole Jochumsen, President, Nasdaq. "Estonia's robust information society and forward thinking coupled with the agility its size affords, creates a unique opportunity to premiere the e-voting pilot in Estonia. We're excited to see the development of this project over the coming months, and look forward to working closely with the government of Estonia to set a transformative example of the future of governance."