US stock exchange NASDAQ today unveiled its new Linq platform, a system for managing shares of private companies powered by the blockchain technology underpinning Bitcoin.
NASDAQ has signed up six initial clients to Linq, including Chain.com, the blockchain API company that helped build the system.
The digital ledger leverages its own blockchain - rather than the public Bitcoin variant - to log transfers and issuance of shares of privately-held companies on the stock exchange.
Using technology like blockchain to manage shares of private companies is expected to make the formerly manual process faster and more efficient.
The blockchain works as a decentralised ledger of every bitcoin transaction ever made, with the transactions verified and shared by a global network of computers.
The stock exchange's CEO Bob Greifeld said it had been extremely encouraged by the initial demand for the platform.
"Blockchain applied to the private market is innovation built on top of innovation, and carries with it the opportunity to forever alter the future of financial services infrastructure," he said in a statement.
The platform was first announced in May as the first step in the NASDAQ's wider blockchain initiative.
Two Australians banks have signed up to a global effort to work out ways to implement blockchain in financial markets.
The Commonwealth Bank and NAB form part of a 22-strong group of international banks attempting to create an underlying architecture for either blockchain or another decentralised ledger.