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2016-02-12

Nasdaq: Nasdaq's Blockchain Technology to Transform the Republic of Estonia's e-Residency Shareholder Participation

TALLINN, Estonia and NEW YORK, Feb. 12, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Nasdaq
(Nasdaq:NDAQ) and the Republic of Estonia have announced that Estonia's
e-Residency platform will be facilitating a blockchain-based e-voting service
to allow shareholders of companies listed on Nasdaq's Tallinn Stock Exchange,
Estonia's only regulated securities market, to vote in shareholder meetings.
The country's e-Residency platform is an electronic identity system used by
both Estonian residents and those with business interests in the country to
access government services through e-Residency digital authentication. The
program marks the second official blockchain project Nasdaq is executing on
after successfully delivering the first private securities issuance between
an investor and company via Nasdaq Linq, its blockchain-enabled platform.

As part of the program's pilot, shareholders who are Estonian or Estonian
e-residents will be able to participate in the corporate governance of
companies more conveniently and securely than ever before. The e-Residency
platform vastly improves the ability to authenticate shareholders for the
e-voting service, while blockchain technology will allow votes to be quickly
and securely recorded, streamlining a proxy voting process that has
historically been labor-intensive and fragmented. The pilot is aimed to
launch in 2016.

"I'm delighted Nasdaq will be using the e-Residency platform to offer
shareholders a new e-voting system," said Kaspar Korjus, Program Director,
e-Residency. "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 easier and safer for shareholders to participate in company meetings
and votes is not just a matter of convenience or security; these interactions
are the primary ways that a company's shareholders interact with corporate
management and shape the future of the company they own. By making e-voting
more efficient and secure, the blockchain-based system has the potential to
empower shareholders and improve their engagement.

"On the heels of the successful execution of a Blockchain transaction in the
US private market, we are pleased to further advance this technology in
Estonia," said Hans-Ole Jochumsen, President, Nasdaq. "Estonia's robust
information society and forward thinking coupled with the agility its size
affords, creates 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."

Additional Links:

* E-Residency: http://e-resident.gov.ee
* Nasdaq&Nasdaq Baltic: http://business.nasdaq.com/,
http://www.nasdaqbaltic.com/

Note to Editors:

The Estonian e-Residency program allows anyone in the world to become a
digital resident of Estonia. Not only can Estonian e-residents easily found
and manage Estonian companies online, they can also digitally authenticate
themselves. Applicants for e-Residency are fingerprinted and background
checked by the Estonian state. Once approved, they are issued an electronic
ID card which, in combination with a 4-digit pin, can be used for secure
digital identification.

About e-Residency

Estonia, an EU member state, is the first country to offer e-Residency - a
transnational digital identity available to everyone in the world. Through
its e-Residency program, Estonia is building a borderless digital society and
unleashing the world's entrepreneurial potential. After becoming an
e-resident entrepreneurs and freelancers can open and run location
independent businesses online, apply for a bank account* and conduct
e-banking, get access to international payment service providers, declare
taxes, sign all relevant documents and contracts remotely, and get easier
access to EU markets. This means a Singaporean entrepreneur can, for example,
run a company from the Philippines while serving clients in Germany. The same
e-Residency platform allows financial and web service providers, start-ups
and developers to avoid country specific solutions and have quick access to
international markets by letting clients from anywhere in the world use their
services via the clients' secure and government-verified digital identities.
E-residency does not give citizenship or tax residency and does not confer
the right to live in or visit Estonia or the European Union. *E-Residency
does not guarantee a bank account, account opening is at the sole discretion
of the banks. To learn more, visit: e-resident.gov.ee

About Nasdaq

Nasdaq (Nasdaq:NDAQ) is a leading provider of trading, clearing, exchange
technology, listing, information and public company services across six
continents. Through its diverse portfolio of solutions, Nasdaq enables
customers to plan, optimize and execute their business vision with
confidence, using proven technologies that provide transparency and insight
for navigating today's global capital markets. As the creator of the world's
first electronic stock market, its technology powers more than 70
marketplaces in 50 countries, and 1 in 10 of the world's securities
transactions. Nasdaq is home to more than 3,700 listed companies with a
market value of approximately $9.6 trillion and nearly 10,000 corporate
clients. To learn more, visit: nasdaq.com/ambition or business.nasdaq.com.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

The matters described herein contain forward-looking statements that are made
under the Safe Harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform
Act of 1995. These statements include, but are not limited to, statements
about Nasdaq and its products and offerings. We caution that these statements
are not guarantees of future performance. Actual results may differ
materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements.
Forward-looking statements involve a number of risks, uncertainties or other
factors beyond Nasdaq's control. These factors include, but are not limited
to factors detailed in Nasdaq's annual report on Form 10-K, and periodic
reports filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. We undertake
no obligation to release any revisions to any forward-looking statements.

NDAQG
For Media Inquiries:
Nasdaq:
Ryan Wells
ryan.wells@nasdaq.com
Direct: +44 (0) 20 3753 2231
Mobile: +44 (0) 7809 596 390

E-Residency:
Katre Kasmel
Katre.kasmel@eas.ee
Mobile: +372 506 5081

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This announcement is distributed by NASDAQ OMX Corporate Solutions on behalf of NASDAQ OMX Corporate Solutions clients.
The issuer of this announcement warrants that they are solely responsible for the content, accuracy and originality of the information contained therein.
Source: Nasdaq via Globenewswire

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