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  1. #1
    WHT-BR Top Member
    Data de Ingresso
    Dec 2010

    [EN] Global banks test blockchain-based trading system

    The technology could be used by banks to transfer real assets within the next one or two years.

    By Jemima Kelly | Reuters
    Jan 20, 2016

    LONDON - Eleven major banks, including Barclays, UBS, HSBC, Credit Suisse and Wells Fargo, said on Wednesday they had tested a system that could make trading much faster and cheaper, using the technology that underpins crypto-currency bitcoin.

    The banks are part of a consortium of 42 major lenders, brought together last year by New York-based software company R3 to work on ways blockchain technology could be used in financial markets - the first time so many have collaborated on using such systems.

    A blockchain is a huge, decentralised ledger of every bitcoin transaction, verified and shared by a global computer network, that can also be used to secure and validate any exchange of data, including real assets, such as commodities or currencies.

    Banks reckon the technology could save them money by cutting out middlemen and making their operations more transparent. But analysts caution it is early days - bitcoin was invented just six years ago and blockchain experiments are still under way.

    For this test, R3 used a Microsoft platform, which runs on a blockchain built by Ethereum, a non-profit organisation.

    The 11 banks in the simulation, operating across four continents, each used their own computer, or "node", and transferred "Ether" to each other - Ethereum's equivalent of bitcoin, R3 said.

    They were able to settle the transactions almost instantaneously, it added. That compares to settlement times of days or even weeks, depending on the asset class, under the current systems used by banks.

    R3 Managing Director Charley Cooper said the technology could be used by banks to transfer real assets within the next one or two years.

    "Rather than just talking about what we might do, we've moved into a new phase, which is actually executing these plans and demonstrating how this technology might work in practise," said Tim Grant, who runs R3's test labs.


    The other eight banks involved in the experiment were BMO Financial Group, Credit Suisse, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Natixis, Royal Bank of Scotland, TD Bank, UniCredit and Wells Fargo - all members of the R3 consortium.

    "Proving the scale and peer-to-peer operation of blockchain experiments is an important next step," said UBS's senior innovation manager Alex Batlin, who is in charge of a blockchain lab for the bank in London.

    R3 has recruited many heavyweights from the worlds of bitcoin and technology more broadly. Mike Hearn, a former lead bitcoin developer who last week said the crypto-currency had been a failed experiment, is its lead platform engineer.

    Banks see potential in the so-called "smart contracts" that blockchain technology facilitates: agreements that are automatically executed when pre-determined conditions are met.

    "Though ... there are still many implementation hurdles left to overcome, this exercise further validates the utility of smart contract consensus technology," a spokesman for Ethereum said.

  2. #2
    WHT-BR Top Member
    Data de Ingresso
    Dec 2010

    ASX to test blockchain for trade settlement

    The Australian Securities Exchange announced it has enlisted Digital Asset Holdings to develop a new system for clearing and settling trades in the Australian equity market.

    The ASX was one of 13 financial leaders taking place in a $52m capital raising by Digital Asset, the blockchain startup founded by Blythe Masters – a former JPMorgan banker who helped develop the idea behind credit default swaps, writes Peter Wells in Hong Kong.

    The Exchange said in a statement it paid A$14.9m ($10.4m) for a 5 per cent equity interest in Digital Asset (as well as a warrant giving ASX the right to purchase further equity and appoint a director to the board), and will now work with the startup to modernise trade settlement and clearing for the Australian sharemarket.

    Ms Masters said in a statement:

    The work we have done with ASX to date indicated Australia has a unique opportunity to be a world leader in the adoption of Distributed Ledger Technology.

    Blockchain works as an electronic ledger, using a shared public database to continually maintain and verify digital transactions.

    Its proponents argue the near-instantaneous settlement of transactions could automate back-offices of banks and free up billions in collateral that acts as insurance for trading. It is not without its detractors, though, and debate about the suitability of the technology has been a hot topic at this week’s World Economic Forum in Davos.

    The ASX was set to upgrade its clearing and settlements system and chief executive Elmer Funke-Kupper told the FT in London in December the group was considering employing blockchain technology.

    The ASX said today its incumbent clearing system, CHESS, will continue to operate as normal, while the development of the blockchain system is developed and tested over the next six to 12 months.

    Mr Funke-Kupper said:

    Rather than replace CHESS with a new version that is based on the same legacy processes that operate in the market today, we should aim to re-engineer and simplify those processes to deliver significant benefits to the users of the market.

    The decision by the ASX is arguably the furthest any equity market has taken the adoption of the technology. In late December, Nasdaq announced it had conducted its first blockchain-based share sale.

    Investors also taking part in Digital Asset’s funding round included JPMorgan, Citi, CME Venture, BNP Paribas, Deutsche Borse Group and Accenture.
    Última edição por 5ms; 22-01-2016 às 08:14.

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