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Nasdaq used Linq ledger to transfer shares in "seminal moment" for blockchain technology

Nasdaq has announced it has made the first ever share trade using a blockchain ledger, the underlying technology of the digital currency bitcoin.

The decentralised technology has been widely touted as holding the potential to revolutionise the financial sector and the US stock exchange described the transfer of shares over its Linq blockchain ledger as a "seminal moment".

Banks and other financial institutions have shown increasing interest in blockchain technology, as it provides cheaper and faster transactions by cutting out the need for clearing houses and other middlemen.

The transparent nature of the ledger also means that the potential for counterfeiting and fraud is reduced. Such benefits of the technology has also led Nasdaq to explore the possibility of applying it to proxy voting in Estonia.

"We believe this successful transaction marks a major advance in the global financial sector and represents a seminal moment in the application of blockchain technology," said Nasdaq CEO Bob Greifeld.

"Through this initial application of blockchain technology, we begin a process that could revolutionize the core of capital markets infrastructure systems. The implications for settlement and outdated administrative functions are profound."

The first transaction to be carried out through Nasdaq Linq was the issuance of shares from blockchain developer Chain to an unnamed private investor.

"No doubt this is a powerful milestone for Chain and our partnership with Nasdaq," said Chain CEO Adam Ludwin. "We couldn't be happier with the results of the transaction. It was seamless and met our objective of drastically reduced manual ownership transfer."