Symbiont (company)

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Delaware Corporation
IndustryBlockchain technology
FounderMark Smith, Adam Krellenstein, Evan Wagner, Robby Dermody
BrandsSmart Security, Smart Securities,[1] Assembly, SymPL

Symbiont is a blockchain technology company based in New York City, New York.[2] Symbiont develops the Assembly blockchain platform, as well as programmable versions of traditional financial instruments that run on Assembly as smart contracts.[3][4] Assembly distributes data across a network of computers owned and controlled by different financial institutions while preserving data confidentiality, and the smart contracts written in its proprietary language, SymPL, automate business workflows.[5] Symbiont Assembly is used by financial institutions, including Nasdaq, Citigroup and Vanguard.[6]


Symbiont was founded in 2015 by Mark Smith (CEO), Adam Krellenstein, Evan Wagner and Robby Dermody.[2][7] Symbiont early investors include Duncan Niederauer, former CEO of the New York Stock Exchange, and former co-head of Citadel Matt Andresen.[3][8] In January 2019, Nasdaq Ventures led a US$20 million Series B round. Citigroup, Mike Novogratz’s crypto-focus merchant bank, Galaxy Digital Holdings Ltd. and Raptor Group Holdings also participated in the round.[2] Symbiont has 75 employees as of June 2019.[9]

Products and customers[edit]

Symbiont's blockchain products manage the life cycle of financial instruments such as mortgages, private equity, syndicated loans and market data by creating digital representations of them on a decentralized ledger.[9]

In December 2017, Vanguard announced a pilot program with Symbiont to build a product for managing index data on its blockchain platform.[10] Vanguard now uses Symbiont blockchain technology in production to manage US$1.5 trillion of index funds,[6] for the purpose of eliminating manual reconciliation between Vanguard and the Center for Research in Security Prices (CRSP), who provides Vanguard with market data.[7] This was the first production integration of blockchain technology by a major financial institution into one of their core systems.[9]

Vanguard also uses Symbiont technology in a venture aimed at allowing for peer-to-peer trading between asset managers in the foreign exchange market.[11] The Assembly FICC network allows for the decentralized collateral management among asset managers trading in foreign exchange and mitigates counterparty risk.[5]


  1. ^ Allison, Ian (2015-09-28). "Smart securities issuer Symbiont fires shots in the private blockchain arms race". International Business Times. Retrieved 2016-06-01.
  2. ^ a b c Marsh, Alastair (2019-01-23). "Nasdaq, Citi Join Novogratz in Funding Blockchain Firm Symbiont". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2019-06-28.
  3. ^ a b Chavez-Dreyfuss, Gertrude (2015-06-10). "U.S. tech company raises $1.25 mln from ex-NYSE Euronext CEO, ex-Citadel trader". Reuters. Retrieved 2016-06-01.
  4. ^ Leising, Matthew (2015-06-09). "Some Financial Heavyweights Just Invested in a Trading Platform Linked to Bitcoin". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2016-06-01.
  5. ^ a b Stops, Galen (2020-01-15). "Can Symbiont's Blockchain Solution Change How FX Trades?". Profit & Loss: In the Currency & Derivative Markets. Retrieved 2020-02-09.
  6. ^ a b del Castillo, Michael; Schifrin, Matt (2020-02-19). "Blockchain 50". Forbes. Retrieved 2020-02-19.
  7. ^ a b Shen, Lucinda (2019-01-23). "Blockchain Startup Symbiont Raises $20 Million to Take Aim at a Cause of the Financial Crisis". Fortune. Retrieved 2019-11-14.
  8. ^ Bullock, Nicole (2015-06-09). "Ex-NYSE head among trading veterans backing blockchain start-up". Financial Times. Retrieved 2016-06-01.
  9. ^ a b c Kauflin, Jeff (2019-05-30). "Vanguard Is Now Using Blockchain Technology To Help Manage $1.3 Trillion In Index Funds". Forbes. Retrieved 2019-06-28.
  10. ^ Eha, Brian Patrick (2017-12-12). "Vanguard leapfrogs cautious banks, unveils blockchain network plan". American Banker. Retrieved 2017-12-14.
  11. ^ Marsh, Alastair (2019-10-03). "Vanguard to Challenge Banks' Grip on $6 Trillion Currency Market". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2019-10-24.

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