It is something of an attention-grabber when someone who builds solutions on distributed ledger technology (DLT) says, “We are not a blockchain company”, however that is exactly how Tim Grant, co-founder and CEO of DrumG, starts our conversation. “We are a company that builds on blockchains; not one blockchain, but the right one – we build ledger appropriate solutions,” he explains. “We would never say ‘our blockchain is better than yours’. What we say is ‘our ability to choose the right blockchain and build on it, is better than yours’ – there’s a significant difference.”
CLS has made a strategic investment in R3 and is planning to explore how Corda, R3’s enterprise blockchain platform, can be deployed to improve efficiencies for its members.
David Rutter, CEO of R3, comments: “CLS is critically important to the functioning of one of the most important markets in the world. It is absolutely right that major infrastructure players like this look to technologies such as blockchain to continue making their products and services faster, easier, safer and more cost-effective for the end user. CLS’s investment is testament to Corda’s position as the enterprise blockchain platform of choice for the financial services industry. We look forward to working with them.”
R3 and 22 of its member banks have developed a new international payments solution that leverages distributed ledger technology (DLT).
A protoype of the solution – which is being built on R3’s Corda platform – is due to be released by the end of 2017.
In a release issued today, R3 notes that domestic payment systems have advanced in many countries to the point of providing real-time funds transfer for customers, highlighting by contrast the extremely inefficient, expensive and slow experience businesses encounter with international payments.
R3 has raised $107 million in the first two of three planned tranches in its Series A fundraising round. This represents the largest single investment in a firm providing distributed ledger technology (DLT) services to date.
According to data from CoinDesk, which tracks venture capital (VC) investment in blockchain and bitcoin focused firms, only Coinbase, Circle Internet Financial and 21 Inc, have now raised more VC money than R3. However, none of these firms are exclusively focused on DLT and in some cases they have clearly conducted more fundraising rounds.
Speakers at Profit & Loss’ Forex Network London tried to “de-mystify” blockchain technology as they talked about its practical applications within the financial services industry.
Andy Coyne, CEO of Cobalt DL, explained that when he first began looking at how blockchain technology could be applied to post-trade FX he found that there was a lot of noise and hype around the technology, but that there was a dearth of companies actually ready to implement it in a practical manner.
Coyne said that he looked at the issue that his firm was trying to solve, which was how to reduce cost and risk in post-trade processes, and then started examining if and how this technology could help.
After two years of endless hype, Galen Stops looks at whether 2017 will be the year that distributed ledger technology broadly starts getting put into production within mainstream financial services.
Last year saw numerous firms producing proof-of-concepts (POC) regarding the potential application of distributed ledger technology (DLT), issuing whitepapers about the technology and hosting “hackathons” and other events to discuss and promote its use within financial services.
Profit & Loss covered the major developments around DLT last year, but the editorial team started expressing frustration towards the end of the year regarding the disparity between the PR and subsequent press coverage surrounding DLT and the actual amount of tangible projects being put into production using this technology.
The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) has selected IBM, in partnership with Axoni and R3, to provide a distributed ledger technology (DLT) framework for derivatives post-trade lifecycle events.
The firms will work collaboratively to re-platform DTCC’s Trade Information Warehouse (TIW), building a derivatives distributed ledger solution for post-trade processing based on existing TIW capabilities and interfaces with technology providers and market participants.
The TIW service currently automates the record keeping, lifecycle events, and payment management for more than $11 trillion of cleared and bilateral credit derivatives.
It’s nice to know that P&L’s managing editor is not the only one who needs to get stuff off his chest, deputy editor Galen Stops has real blockchain fatigue, and it’s hard not to agree with him. Is blockchain a solution looking for a problem? Well not exactly, it’s a fascinating development that is probably going to have a long and lasting impact on the financial services industry, but just for now, can’t we just talk about something else until something tangible happens?
Antony Lewis has taken a job as a director in R3 CEV’s lab and research centre in Singapore.
Prior to this new role, Lewis was working as a consultant, focused on helping financial services firms understand fintech, blockchains and distributed ledgers.
Between 2013 and 2015 he was part of a venture capital funded bitcoin startup, itBit, working as an institutional client group director.
Before that, he spent four years at Credit Suisse, working initially as an FX business analyst in London and then later as an FX technology project manager in Singapore.
R3 and Axoni, along with seven buy and sell side firms, are working to explore ways that blockchain technology can be used to simplify reference data processes.
The group, which includes Alliance Bernstein, Citi, Credit Suisse and HSBC, recently completed a multi-month proof of concept (PoC) exercise aimed at building a distributed ledger prototype that can enhance the risk management, cost and efficiency issues inherent in managing financial reference data.
The prototype was created using Axoni Core, the firm’s proprietary distributed ledger software, to simulate the collaborative management of reference data, as well as the use of that reference data for corporate bond issuance.
The technology is designed to enable participants to interact with reference data after issuance, with any proposed changes requiring validation by the underwriter to ensure the ledger provided a single, immutable record of all data related to the bond.