A veteran of bitcoin industry, Coinprism has revealed the blockchain technology incorporated by NASDAQ. The name of the technology is Open Assets. It works with Colored Coins and dates back to 2013.

In the middle of May, NASDAQ declared the beginning of blockchain experiment. According to Coinprism, the technology in question is called Open Assets. The aim of this project is to build a simple protocol suitable for everybody:

“The design goal was to build a protocol that is flexible, and with consensus rules as simple as possible. In crypto-currency, the consensus is a set of rules that all of the participants obey to. The consensus rules for Bitcoin itself are quite extensive. It is often said that the specification of these consensus rules are the Bitcoin Core code itself. One of the core driving principle when designing Open Assets was for the consensus rules to be so simple that they could easily be described in a plain-English specification without ambiguity.” 

The developers of Open Assets created a protocol for “colored coins”. Specifications are provided in a 7-page brochure making the new protocol accessible even for a novice.

“As of today, Open Assets counts at least 4 different full implementations: Open Assets (Python), NBitcoin (.NET), Open Assets (Javascript), Assembly (Python), and more are being built by the community as we speak. Open Assets has become the de facto standard for colored coins, and close to a hundred companies a building products on top of it.”

NASDAQ announced the decision to incorporate the technology behind bitcoin into its operations on 11 May. Blockchain, the public ledger that keeps track of all bitcoin transactions around the world, can be useful for any global financial institution, decided Nasdaq.

“Utilizing the blockchain is a natural digital evolution for managing physical securities,” said Nasdaq’s CEO Robert Greifeld. He believes the technology holds the potential “to benefit not only our clients, but the broader global capital markets”.

The history of relationship between Nasdaq and bitcoin is a long and complicated one. Recently the Sweden-based regulated exchange Nasdaq Stockholm has welcomed the first ever bitcoin-based security, Bitcoin Tracker One (BTO) that will be admitted to trading on 18 May. Previously Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. has formed a partnership with a New York-based bitcoin start-up Noble Markets to power a new marketplace aimed at allowing companies and institutional investors such as hedge funds to trade bitcoin and related digital-currency assets.