Nasdaq And Estonia’s E-Residency To Empower Shareholders On Estonian Stock Exchange

Journalist:
Lester Coleman
February 12, 2016

Estonia’s e-Residency platform will facilitate a blockchain-based e-voting service enabling shareholders of companies listed on Nasdaq’s Tallinn Stock Exchange to vote in shareholder meetings, according to Nasdaq and the Republic of Estonia. The Nasdaq’s Tallinn Stock Exchange is Estonia’s only regulated securities market, according to Nasdaq.

The e-Residency platform is an electronic identity system that Estonian residents and those with business interests in Estonia use to access government services. The program marks Nasdaq’s second official blockchain project after delivering the first private securities issuance between a company and an investor via Nasdaq Linq, its blockchain-enabled platform.

An e-Resident

Shareholders who are Estonian or Estonian e-residents can participate in the corporate governance of companies more securely and conveniently under the program’s pilot.

Shareholder Authentication

The e-Residency platform improves the authentication of shareholders for the e-voting service while blockchain technology will allow votes to be securely and quickly recorded. The technology streamlines the proxy voting process which has historically been fragmented and labor-intensive. The pilot is set to launch this year.

In a press release, Kaspar Korjus, program director, e-Residency, said he is delighted Nasdaq will use the e-Residency platform to offer shareholders a new e-voting system. “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 safer and easier for shareholders to participate in votes and company meetings is more than a matter of security and convenience. These interactions are the main ways a company’s shareholders interact with corporate management and impact the future of the company they own. The blockchain-based system can enhance shareholder engagement by making e-voting more secure and efficient.

Nasdaq Embraces Blockchain

Hans-Ole Jochumsen, president of Nasdaq, said following the successful execution of a blockchain transaction in the U.S. private market, Nasdaq is pleased to further advance this technology in Estonia. He said Estonia’s robust information society and forward-thinking, combined with the agility its size affords, provides 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,” he said.

Estonia, through the e-Residency program, is creating a borderless digital society and enhancing entrepreneurial potential. It allows entrepreneurs to open and operate a location-independent business online, apply for a bank account, conduct e-banking, gain access to international payment service providers, declare taxes, sign documents and contracts remotely, and have easier access to EU markets.

The program allows, for example, Singaporean entrepreneur to operate a business from the Philippines while serving clients in Germany.

Also read: Estonian e-Residency program launched

A Versatile Service

The e-Residency platform allows web and financial service providers, developers and start-ups to avoid country-specific solutions and gain quick access to international markets by allowing clients from anywhere in the world to use their services via the clients’ secure and government-verified digital identities.

E-residency does not provide tax residency or citizenship and does not confer the right to live in or visit Estonia or the European Union. It does not guarantee a bank account; opening a bank account is at the banks’ discretion. To learn more, visit: e-resident.gov.ee

Images from Shutterstock and Facebook/E-Estonia.

Lester Coleman

Lester Coleman is a media relations consultant for the payments and automated retailing industries.