Blockchain and the Future of the Maritime Industry

Many people think of Nasdaq as just a stock exchange, but we are also a large provider of technology to other marketplaces, banks, and brokers across the globe. With years of experience in the financial industry, we are now seeing how our technology can be utilized in other industries besides capital markets. The maritime industry specifically interests us because of the highly valuable ways we can apply our knowledge and competence from finance into the maritime business.

After several days at the Smart Digital Ports of the Future Conference, I’ve seen a positive conversation around using blockchain in the maritime sector and the digitalization of the ports. There is good work going on in the maritime business, and the next step is to figure out how we can easily help reach optimal efficiency for the industry through collaboration and support on the blockchain.

Ports and terminals can be linked through one single source of data, the blockchain record, ensuring clear communication and preventing disputes and allowing for a more efficient way to match supply and demand. Think of it like this: People want to transport something, and there are transports available– The blockchain allows them to receive a much more efficient and accurate way of price discovery, so the buyer and seller can meet in the fairest and easiest way for both parties.

Blockchain technology can help the shipping industry reach maximal operational efficiency. Once we have the golden source of data and an organized marketplace, the industry will benefit from more trustworthy communication and a streamlined way to match buyers and sellers at the best price. In addition, blockchain can help connect all parties involved in a transaction throughout the whole lifecycle of a shipment, providing increased transparency, reliability and tracking.

Nasdaq has applied blockchain technology to a number of other industries with success. For example, in the advertising industry, we created a market to issue and trade ad space on the blockchain as well as settle and arrange the payments. In the healthcare industry, we’ve worked more with data, arranging how to efficiently search for a data set across the industry and see who you’d like to buy the data from. This could be applied to the shipping industry, searching data between different ports. Additionally, in the agriculture industry, we are using blockchain to settle contracts and ensure delivery matching buyers and sellers of grain.

Ultimately, Nasdaq seeks to partner with new markets outside of the financial sector that we see could greatly benefit from using blockchain as a digital immutable ledger to store proof of all events in the value chain, and the maritime industry is one of our key interests to helping reach maximal operational efficiency.