BLOCKCHAIN

CLS CONDUCTING BLOCKCHAIN MARKETPLACE POC WITH IBM: CLS, a market infrastructure group delivering settlement, processing, and data solutions, is conducting a proof of concept (PoC) for a distributed ledger technology (DLT) platform, dubbed LedgerConnect, with IBM. LedgerConnect uses DLT to allow banks, buy and sell side firms, fintechs, and software vendors to deploy and share their services. There are nine financial institutions (FIs) participating in the PoC, including Barclays and Citi, and the companies have chosen services from vendors including Baton Systems, Calypso, and IBM. The services that LedgerConnect will give FIs access to include know your customer (KYC) processes, sanctions screening, and collateral management.

An increasing number of FIs want to implement DLT solutions into their businesses. Eighty-nine percent of banks want to use DLT and smart contracts for trade finance, while 74% want to use DLT for digital identity, suggesting high interest from FIs in the technology. However, conventionally, every bank, vendor, or consortium must build their own DLT infrastructure — R3 built Corda, for example. LedgerConnect wants to solve this problem by providing a single, secure network on which multiple services can be deployed and consumed, enabling FIs to focus on transforming processes instead of creating new blockchain applications and services, CLS said in its press release. LedgerConnect will operate on a private permissioned network that is based on the IBM Blockchain Platform and Hyperledger Fabric technology.

This marketplace could potentially boost DLT use by FIs. Interest in DLT doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, with $633 million invested in blockchain companies in Q2 2018, according to CB Insights. However, many blockchain current projects only include a limited amount of financial services companies, making achieving a network effect difficult. A platform like LedgerConnect, which aims to offer services from a plethora of vendors, is therefore likely to be in high demand for its ability to provide access to more solutions. That, in turn, could boost adoption of DLT more broadly.

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