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Blockchain News in Capital Markets and Payments

Move Over Bitcoin, CME Group Will Offer Real Digital Gold

by Bradley Fink

Because of its scarcity, portability, divisibility and current valuation, many people are calling bitcoin the modern “digital gold.” And like gold, bitcoin seems to be establishing itself as a popular store of value.But now CME Group, one of the world’s largest providers of gold futures ...

Despite the Success of Blockchain POCs, Deploying Pilots Won’t be Easy (Part One)

by Pete Harris

At a conference in Houston, TX, last month, R3’s Tim Grant presented his version of a “blockchain adoption timeline.” It seemed to reflect a broader industry view that while 2014 was “The Year of Enlightenment” and 2015 “The Year of the Hype,” 2017 will be the year that blockchain projects move ...

China’s Blockchain Invasion

by Bradley Fink

Word in China is out about blockchain technology, as the government made clear in an Informatization Strategy published in December of 2016. The strategy states, “The internet, cloud computing, large data, artificial intelligence, machine learning, blockchain … will drive the evolution of ...

Analysis: Spoilt for Choice, Enterprise Distributed Ledgers (Part One)

by Pete Harris

This year is set to be a big one for companies looking to implement their first live pilots of applications built on blockchain and distributed ledger technology. Drawing on the experience of in-house lab experiments and proof-of-concept (PoC) tests, these early adopters will be looking to ...

Analysis: Spoilt For Choice, Enterprise Distributed Ledgers (Part Two)

by Pete Harris

As was noted in part one of this analysis, 2017 will see companies looking to implement their first live pilots of applications built on blockchain and distributed ledger technology.A big difference between a proof-of-concept and a pilot is that in the latter deployment scenario, the blockchain ...

Asset Manager Fidelity to Join Blockchain Group IC3

by Alex Lielacher

U.S. asset management giant Fidelity Investments Inc. is the first financial institution to join The Initiative for CryptoCurrencies & Contracts (IC3), a blockchain technology development group composed of leading academic institutions and tech companies.The IC3 group is based at the Jacobs ...

How Tokenization Is Putting Real-World Assets on Blockchains

by Addison Cameron-Huff

Tokenization is the process of converting rights to an asset into a digital token on a blockchain. There is great interest by financial intermediaries and technologists around the world in figuring out how to move real-world assets onto blockchains to gain the advantages of Bitcoin while keeping ...

Analysis: Ethereum Heads to The Enterprise

by Pete Harris

With this week’s launch of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA), companies looking to implement blockchain technology for production business applications got another open-source option to explore, as an alternative to the Fabric and Corda platforms in development under the stewardship of the ...

Digital Asset's Blythe Masters Discusses Hyperledger and Blockchain Collaboration

by Peter Chawaga

Blythe Masters solidified her Wall Street reputation as a top-level executive at J.P.Morgan, which she left in 2014 after a career spanning 27 years. Since then, she has bridged the gap from financial institutions to fintech startups by becoming CEO of Digital Asset, a leader in the use of ...

Insurance Giants Generali and RGA Join Blockchain Insurance Industry Initiative B3i

by Giulio Prisco

Two major players in the global insurance industry, Generali Group and Reinsurance Group of America (RGA), have announced that they are joining the Blockchain Insurance Industry Initiative B3i to further explore the potential use of distributed ledger technology for the insurance and health ...

American Express Bets Big on the Blockchain, Joins Hyperledger Project

by Giulio Prisco

The Hyperledger Project, a collaborative cross-industry effort led by The Linux Foundation to create an enterprise-grade, open-source distributed ledger technology, announced that American Express has joined the project as a Premier Member. The global financial services giant joins more than 100 ...

Analysis: DTCC Adopts Cautious Deployment Model for Ambitious Distributed Ledger Credit Derivatives Pilot

by Pete Harris

The recent news that the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) is planning to rebuild a key element of its trade processing infrastructure using distributed ledger technology supports the notion that proof-of-concept (PoC) projects are now transforming into real-life pilots. It also ...

Major Wall Street Clearinghouse DTCC to Develop Operational Blockchain Network for Derivatives

by Giulio Prisco

The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) announced that it has selected IBM, in partnership with Axoni and R3, to provide a distributed ledger technology framework for post-trade derivatives processing, including credit default swaps. The final goal of the project is to develop a ...

Vitalik Buterin Reviews Chain Interoperability Schemes in New R3 Research Paper

by Giulio Prisco

In June Bitcoin Magazine reported that R3, the financial innovation consortium that includes many of the world’s leading banks, commissioned Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin to write a report on Ethereum design, upcoming technical developments and applications in private systems. R3 published ...

Industry Updates: Ups and Downs for R3, A Blockchain Ecosystem for IBM, Hyperledger’s Century, Quorum Quietly Opens Up

by Pete Harris

R3 CEV – the fintech company that leads the R3 financial services distributed ledger consortium – has been in the news a lot in recent weeks, though not always with the most positive spin. The negative news broke last month that a number of the banks that joined as early members of the ...

PwC Launches Vulcan, a Compliance-Oriented Blockchain for Banks and Governments

by Giulio Prisco

This week, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) launched Vulcan Digital Asset Services, a new blockchain-based platform designed for all sorts of digital transactions. The platform has an emphasis on identity verification and compliance services that, PwC hopes, should make it attractive to banks and ...

R3 to Open Source Corda; Patent Application Still Being Pursued for “Genuinely New” Distributed Ledger Approach

by Pete Harris

R3 CEV, a leading financial services consortium, has announced its intention to open source its Corda distributed ledger technology via the Hyperledger Project—in which it is a major member—despite its plans to patent Corda.According to a spokesperson for R3, the patent application and open ...

Visa Partners with Chain to Process B2B Transactions Globally Using Blockchain Technology

by Giulio Prisco

On October 21, 2016, Visa announced a new partnership with blockchain enterprise company Chain that will develop “a simple, fast and secure way to process B2B payments globally.” Dubbed Visa B2B Connect, the system will offer participating pilot financial institutions a consistent process for ...

Symbiont Unveils Enterprise-Ready Distributed Ledger, Releases ‘Assembly’ Code on Github

by Giulio Prisco

Symbiont announced the release of a software development kit for Assembly, the permissioned distributed ledger component of Symbiont's Smart Securities Platform—a bespoke blockchain independent of Bitcoin and Ethereum. According to the company, Assembly is a distributed ledger designed for use ...

The Hyperledger Project Continues to Grow Rapidly; Executive Director Brian Behlendorf Elaborates on Strategy and Goals

by Giulio Prisco

The Hyperledger Project, a collaborative cross-industry effort to advance blockchain technology led by The Linux Foundation, continues to announce new organizations joining the project to help create an open standard for distributed ledgers for a new generation of transactional applications. The ...

Synechron’s Accelerator Program Looks to Speed Real-Life Blockchain Deployment in Financial Services

by Pete Harris

The transition from “talking” about blockchains to “walking” with them is increasingly cited as a required next step for 2017. To that end, financial services IT specialist Synechron has released a set of “accelerators” that will enable firms to deliver early blockchain-based apps faster, more ...

Using Blockchains for Financial Transparency and Access

by Daniel Cawrey

Everyone is talking about the blockchain. There’s blockchain for health, blockchain for identity. Blockchain for records. Blockchain to copyright media. Yet the greatest benefit of the blockchain might be to increase financial transparency and access.What does that mean? Well, it means changing ...

R3 Files Distributed Ledger Patent for Corda, Unique Privacy Component of Blockchain Financial Services Platform

by Pete Harris

R3 CEV, which is leading a financial services consortium investigating distributed ledger technology, has filed a patent for Corda, a shared ledger offering it developed. The company also announced Project Concord, a fully functioned platform that represents its “vision for the future of ...

For SETL’s Blockchain Settlement Platform, It’s All About the Payment

by Pete Harris

Although SETL, the London-based institutional payment and settlement startup, has launched a commercial blockchain platform named OpenCSD – for Central Securities Depository – the company maintains a major focus on payments between counterparties to a transaction. That’s because, as CEO Peter ...

Mphasis Blockchain Center to Develop Use Cases for India’s Government and Financial System

by Giulio Prisco

Indian IT services and solutions provider Mphasis has launched a Centre of Excellence (CoE) for blockchain-based solutions at its Bangalore headquarters. The Mphasis CoE wants to help enterprises, initially in the mortgage, insurance and payment industries, to swiftly adopt and onboard ...

Clearable Looks to Blockchain to Save the FX Derivatives Marketplace From Extinction

by Pete Harris

The financial markets post-trade space is one application area that shows much promise for blockchain and distributed ledger technology, with several startups and internal bank projects focused on it. Clearable is one of those startups, with a particular focus on the global foreign exchange ...

Deputy Governor: Bank of England Considering Issuing Currency Using a Distributed Ledger

by Giulio Prisco

A recently published Bank of England (BoE) working paper studies the macroeconomic consequences of issuing central bank digital currency (CBDC), a universally accessible and interest-bearing central bank liability, implemented via distributed ledgers, that competes with bank deposits as a medium ...

R3 Summit Focuses on Smart Contract Templates and Their Potential

by Pete Harris

R3 CEV, which leads a financial services-focused distributed ledger consortium, recently delved deeper into smart contract technology by hosting a Smart Contracts Template Summit bringing together groups in both London and New York City. As the summit’s name suggested, the overall goal was to ...

IBM and Crédit Mutuel Arkéa Announce Identity Verification Project Built on Hyperledger Blockchain

by Giulio Prisco

Earlier this week, Bitcoin Magazine reported that IBM announced the opening of a new Bluemix Garage for cloud blockchain application development in New York. This included a new blockchain project for near-instantaneous payment settlements developed, in partnership, with the IBM Garage in Tokyo, ...

Farron Blanc of RGAx: Insurance Marketplace Will Use Blockchain Protocols by 2020

by Pete Harris

The insurance industry may be lagging in blockchain development compared to what is happening in other financial services areas, such as capital markets trade processing and payments, but it too is exploring distributed ledger approaches to common industry challenges. Farron Blanc, Vice ...

Overstock Plans to Open Blockchain-Based Stock Exchange tØ to Other Publicly Traded Companies

by Giulio Prisco

At the 41st Annual International Futures Industry Conference in March, U.S. online retailer Overstock announced its plan to complete the world’s first public stock offering using proprietary blockchain technology. The offering will allow Overstock shareholders a choice: they can continue to ...

How Blockchain Could Give Global Securities Regulators Unprecedented Insights

by Kyle Torpey

In giving the keynote address at the recent cryptocurrency event at the Cato Institute, Commodity Futures Trading Commission Commissioner Chris Giancarlo discussed the hypothetical value of blockchain technology during the 2008 financial crisis.During the crash, Giancarlo was serving as a senior ...

SWIFT, DTCC Blockchain Initiatives Indicate Increasing Financial Markets Acceptance

by Pete Harris

The recent news that SWIFT and DTCC, both established financial post-trade utilities, are taking tangible steps to explore blockchain technology points to increasing acceptance that blockchains and distributed ledger technology have a place – albeit a future one – as a core infrastructure ...

Barclays’ Smart Contract Templates Showcased in First Public Demo of R3 Corda Platform

by Giulio Prisco

Barclays Bank, one of the leading banks that form part of The Distributed Ledger Group consortium led by R3 CEV, a collaborative group of the world’s largest and most influential banks and financial institutions, recently gave the first public demo of the Corda platform. The demo was one of the ...

VirtusaPolaris Making Early Moves to Map Financial Services Blockchain Models

by Pete Harris

Senthil Radhakrishnan, who has worked within the financial services vertical for over 15 years, has a front-row seat on the growth and development of blockchain technology and its potential use in financial applications. Through his work as head of the Global Banking and Financial Services (BFS) ...

ICAP Looks to Blockchain for Master Data Repository for Post-Trade Services

by Pete Harris

On the face of it, the recent news of financial markets operator ICAP’s foray into blockchain technology is a further example of how trading firms are looking to reduce inefficiency, risk and costs in post-trade processes. That is certainly part of the story, but the proof-of-technology, as the ...

An Interview with Ron Quaranta, Chairman, Wall Street Blockchain Alliance

by Pete Harris

Ron Quaranta is a financial markets veteran who has been the driving force behind the creation and growth of the Wall Street Blockchain Alliance, an industry advocacy group focusing on promotion of blockchain technology within the financial markets. He recently spoke to Pete Harris of Lighthouse ...

R3 Takes First Baby Steps Toward Creating a Global Fabric for Finance

by Pete Harris

Last week’s news that 40 major banks had completed a series of tests of smart contract technology running on a variety of blockchain and cloud offerings made the headlines for its scope and scale. It also represented a significant – though still baby – step for R3 CEV, the New York City-based ...

The Hyperledger Project Aims to Advance Blockchain’s Business and Technology Through Collaboration

by Pete Harris

Announced at the end of last year, the Hyperledger Project has billed itself as a “collaborative effort created to advance blockchain technology by identifying and addressing important features for a cross-industry open standard for distributed ledgers that can transform the way business ...

McKinsey Report Identifies Profit Factors in Blockchains for Capital Markets

by Jacob Donnelly

“Distributed ledgers, or blockchains, have the potential to dramatically reshape the capital markets industry, with significant impact on business models, reductions in risk and savings of cost and capital.” So reads Beyond the Hype: Blockchains in Capital Markets, a report just released by ...

Fintech 2.0: Rebooting Financial Services

by Giulio Prisco

In June Santander InnoVentures, the $100 million fintech venture capital fund of Santander Group, Oliver Wyman and Anthemis Group, published a paper titled "The Fintech 2.0 Paper: rebooting financial services." The paper, presented as "a call to action to banks, financial institutions and ...