Vanguard Developing Blockchain Platform for $6 Trillion Forex Market

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Mutual fund giant Vanguard has partnered with Nasdaq Ventures-backed blockchain startup Symbiont to develop a trading platform for the $6 trillion currency market, the companies said.

With the new platform, Vanguard, which manages $5.2 trillion, aims to lower transaction costs for the trillions of dollars worth of currencies it trades annually by boosting peer-to-peer trading for investors, connecting them directly via blockchain technology.

Symbiont CEO Mark Smith told CoinDesk the company teamed up with Vanguard to build the currency platform, confirming a Bloomberg report that cited an anonymous source.

The platform has been operational for two months and completed its first trades during the time, according to the report.

The new platform is part of the fund manager's commitment to lowering the cost of investing for all investors, the spokesperson said.

New York-based Symbiont actually worked with Vanguard on project related to its index funds before the currency trading platform, helping the fund manager in 2017 streamline its index fund data collection process with its patented smart contract technology.

The blockchain firm is focused on its smart contracts platform for institutional applications of its blockchain platform Symbiont Assembly to help build networks where multiple independent entities can share data and logic in real time.

Symbiont completed blockchain projects for other use cases and partners, including making the mortgage market transparent and more efficient with Wall Street legend Lewis Ranieri and optimizing the syndicated loans market with Ipreo's Synaps platform.

As part of the Series B investment, Nasdaq Financial Framework, a software company owned by the exchange, set out to integrate Symbiont's Assembly smart contracts platform to explore new avenues involving tokenization.

Earlier investors include the blockchain arm of retail giant Overstock and a Chinese software firm Hundsun Technologies, backed by Alibaba CEO Jack Ma. Currency image via Shutterstock.