Security tokens: the third blockchain revolution

Away from the mania of last year’s ICO gold-rush, the appeal and benefits of raising capital by issuing debt and equity on a blockchain-enabled marketplace has struck a chord in the institutional financial services world. As momentum builds among some of the biggest names in finance, we will soon see properly regulated tokens, fit for real businesses and sovereign entities, writes R3’s Todd McDonald.

2017 saw a huge boom in companies raising money by issuing their own digital currencies, a process that has become known as an initial coin offering, or ICO. Holders of these coins or ‘tokens’ are then able to freely trade them on online crypto exchanges.

ICO activity skyrocketed almost overnight, and by the end of 2017 start-ups had managed to raise a total of more than $5.6 billion. Not bad for a market that barely existed a year earlier.

The potential for quick returns attracted a lot of investors, especially inexperienced retail investors spurred on by stories of crypto-millionaires. As might be expected, the risks associated with these investments were not always fully understood. There have been countless instances of scams, fraud or outright Ponzi schemes, which would be seen as comical except for the fact that it put ‘other people’s money’ clearly at risk.

Unsurprisingly, the amount of money pouring into the sector means regulators are appropriately increasing focus on token issuance projects, particularly in the United States. This, combined with a steep decline in deployable money from cryptocurrency speculation, has led to a clear cooling off period for ICOs.

However, the benefits of a decentralized issuance and transaction marketplace and smart securities contracts have clearly captured the attention of institutional players. 2018 has seen increased focus on security tokens, which offer the promise of spurring a new, lower friction method of asset and capital formation. These ‘enterprise-ready tokens,’ if developed appropriately, could automate or simplify much of the asset origination, issuance, execution, and secondary trading processes that makeup so much of investment banking fees today.  Issuers of securities everywhere see the value in a more efficient, effective connection to those looking to allocate capital, all in a safe, regulated and automated environment.

If bitcoin represented the first blockchain revolution and the emergence of enterprise blockchain platforms represented the second, the creation of a new global capital market powered by enterprise security tokens will usher in the third.

Putting assets on the chain

The first instances of these new enterprise token will likely focus on what is called asset-backed tokens. Put simply, the digital token represents an asset that is held ‘somewhere else,’ often at a regulated custodian. The token acts as a ‘digital twin’ and can be traded or exchanged freely on a blockchain with settlement finality, while the underlying asset remains blissfully in place at a custodian.

This interplay of a regulated custodian linked with an on-chain digital representation, while seemingly straightforward, unlocks new ways for markets to transact and expand. It offers a way for businesses to begin to iterate and implement enterprise-friendly yet novel digital assets, all from a strong foundation of an accepted regulatory base.

Building the token ‘buy-side community’

Both emerging and established financial infrastructure players are currently developing solutions to enable the issuance and secondary trading of these asset-backed tokens.

If tokens are to become credible and useful instruments in the institutional world, the quality and type of investor they are able to attract must also be considered. For example, when companies embark on a capital raise, whether it is a Reg D placement or full blown IPO, they (and their investment bank partners) seek ‘strong-hand’ investors – those that aren’t in it just for a quick profit.

The same will apply in the future for companies issuing their debt or equity as tokens, and as such, they will seek out platforms that give them access and distribution to a buy-side of proven investors.

Corda: the natural home of security tokens

R3 is uniquely positioned to facilitate the emerging ‘token economy’ in a secure and regulated manner. The same enterprise-ready focus that led to the design and capabilities of our Corda platform can be extended to bringing the best innovations of the ‘wild west’ of the token world to the enterprise.

Corda was designed from inception to solve the problem of how to represent real-world agreements on a blockchain in a canonical and enforceable way, and this approach can be directly applied to security token issuance. Financial agreements on Corda take the form of smart contracts, linking business logic and data to associated legal prose in order to ensure that trades executed on the platform are rooted firmly in law.

Other key considerations for security token issuance, such as identity, security, data privacy, and settlement finality, are already handled elegantly by Corda and have been key drivers in securing its position as the blockchain platform of choice in capital markets.

Corda-based token examples actually emerged back in 2016, when we began a collaboration with Bank of Canada, Payments Canada and others under the name Project Jasper, where a token called CAD-COIN represented collateral held by the central bank. Since then, we have seen pilot and production examples from our partners, in particular from HQLAxin securities lending and Tradewind Markets in gold trading.

Connectivity with the established financial services community also differentiates Corda from any other platform in the space. R3 is already in talks with a number of major market infrastructure providers about creating regulated environments for security tokens, underpinned by Corda, and the 200+ member ecosystem includes most of the biggest names in financial services, giving token issuers access to a vast network of high-quality investors.  Corporates, banks, asset managers, and market infrastructure providers are also crowding in to provide a stable, regulated settlement asset on Corda.  Corda’s unique design supports delivery of digital security tokens against payment in digital cash instruments in a single, atomic transaction.  This will reduce time, cost, and perhaps most importantly, risk in the emerging token-enabled credit market on Corda.

Platforms like Corda provide the catalyst and foundation to enable security tokens to become a new and potentially invaluable tool in the capital markets toolbox. Unregulated ICOs provided the inspiration for this next wave, yet the shift is already underway to make tokens enterprise-grade. The third blockchain revolution of digital assets will arguably be the most important and impactful to date.

R3 Ledger

The Corda development community continues to build awesome new CorDapps harnessing the best of Corda. Do check out the latest addition, Parnika Sharma’s (BCS Tech) property listing CorDapp which showcases the power of an RDBMS running on a distributed ledger. We’ll be adding this to the growing list of Corda samples soon.

Meanwhile Corda 4 and Corda Enterprise 4 is taking shape, and a sneak peek at the content reveals a host of compelling new features and further improvements to the developer experience: contract constraints are a part of how Corda manages application upgrades and we’re adding the ability to constrain to any attachments signed by a specified set of cryptographic keys. 

This is an easier constraint method to use and requires less choreography between node administrators; support for multiple Corda nodes behind a single firewall, part of the strategy to reduce hosting costs; hardware security module support for safeguarding node cryptographic keys; a more consistent developer experience across the code (for example, error logging and the command line interface); improvements to the administration of a node’s membership to a Corda network, and – of course – we will be maintaining our high bar for the standard of documentation with further improvements to make it better than ever.


Bootcamp

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R3’s Corda developer relations team is back on the road! Building on their massively successfully Bootcamp events held in major cities around the world earlier in the year, the team will be stopping off in more global locations in October to help you learn more about (and get the most out of) Corda.  Do take a look at the list of Bootcamps in the Upcoming Events section below to register for your nearest city and join our Corda experts for a no-cost evening of hands-on training, where any developer can arrive with their laptop and leave with a CordDapp.


Partner Spotlight

Corda

 Corda Enterprise Blockchain is now available on AWS! This Quick Start automatically deploys a Corda Enterprise node in a new or existing virtual private cloud (VPC) on the AWS Cloud in about 30 minutes. Corda Enterprise on AWS is a production-ready implementation of a Corda Enterprise node, which offers built-in resilience and high availability and which can scale as the needs of the node operator change. This partnership opens up CE availability to AWS’ 55,000+ partner network. Read all about it here.


R3search Rollout

Corda

In energy, R3 responded to the US Senate hearing regarding the energy efficiency of blockchain technology. The article in Brink, “Bitcoin is a Red Herring in the Discussion of Blockchain Energy Efficiency”, found that blockchain could aid the integration of smaller suppliers into the energy grid and enable provenance tracking of renewables.

We now have 18 public papers available for download, written by authors such as Vitalik Buterin, Ian Grigg, JP Koning, Rodney Garratt, Neepa Patel, and many other blockchain thought leaders! In capital markets, R3 Research has privately published “Building Blocks for Better Compliance: Can Blockchain Decrease the Burden of Financial Regulations?”, which focuses specifically on the recent MiFid II regulation in Europe. Members can access private papers here.


Life in the Fast Chain

Corda

Have you listened to our blockchain podcast yet? Check out our latest episode (online, iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, Overcast, etc) with Impact Chain Lab’s CEO and co-founder, Aishwarya Balaji. Aishwarya comes on to discuss how she got into the blockchain space, her company’s goals, their new project Bystander, and more.

If you haven’t listened to our last special, check it out! This special episode features R3’s Mike Hearn who talks about the Corda platform, the Corda network, his vision for the future of Corda and the potential future intersection of the blockchain, IoT, AI, and other emerging technologies.

To stay tuned, be sure to check out the podcast on your favorite app! 


Corda Certification

Corda

Certification can be obtained by passing the Corda Certification exam with a score of 75% or better. If you have attended a Corda developer training session or have equivalent experience, you should be well-equipped to take the exam with some additional independent study.

Developers who pass will receive an invitation to claim a digital badge that can be shared on social media and with the developer community at large.

Ready to take the exam?

CordaCon – live from London

R3’s annual flagship conference kicks off this week in London, bringing together hundreds of developers, business leaders and blockchain engineers.

If previous years are anything to go by, the content will be fantastic – real examples, real case studies, knowledge sharing for developers, issue analysis and discussion and engaging presentations.

CordaCon provides a unique opportunity to meet and hear from R3’s clients about how they are leveraging Corda to solve real-world business problems.

Taking place over the course of two days with separate tracks of content – Developer Day (DevDay) and Business Day (BizDay) – it includes senior leaders from financial institutions, corporations, insurance firms, technology firms, independent software vendors (ISVs) and more.

The event, now in its third year, has consolidated its reputation as the fulcrum event for professionals working to apply blockchain-inspired technology to their sectors.

This is in part due to R3 having attracted a critical mass of members and partner, but also because the team’s approach was right from the start.

Rather than build an off-the-shelf blockchain solution and take it to market, R3 worked tirelessly to bring together the leading thinkers from their respective markets with the best developers and software engineers.

The resulting technology, Corda, was launched earlier this year and dozens of CordApps are being developed for it.

Such was demand that this year’s CordaCon was oversubscribed several times over. R3 and Chatsworth will be live tweeting from the event and sharing content and updates as they arise.

Look forward to seeing you there!

R3 Wins Best DLT Tech Provider at Central Banking Global Awards

Yesterday, the inaugural Central Banking Fintech & Regtech Awards were held at the stunning Marriot Tang Plaza Hotel. We were very proud to see R3’s Anthony Lewis in attendance to pick up the award for the Best Distributed Ledger Technology Provider.

The new awards were held to recognise innovation in financial and regulatory technologies that were changing the way central banks and supervisors work.

R3 was picked from a strong contingent of blockchain/DLT based companies that are revolutionising the financial sector due to their transformative success in the past year.

The startup is currently engaged with Bank of Canada inside ‘Project Jasper’, an initiative which sets out to develop an interbank domestic payments settlement system, already the proof of concept touted ‘significant benefits.’

In March, HQLAx and R3 completed the first live securities lending transaction on the Corda platform – between Credit Suisse and ING. The transaction showed that using blockchain could help make the securities lending process faster and more capital efficient.

Corda’s success is evident not only by the number of institutions that use the ledger but also by those looking to invest in the technology. The company has raised over $122 million from more than 40 institutions, including Bank of America Merrill Lynch, HSBC and CLS.

In July, Corda Enterprise was launched to meet the demands of modern day businesses, especially complex institutions. With the launch, companies can now select a version of Corda that fits their unique needs – regardless of their industry, size, and stage of development. This means a wider range of institutions can realise the full potential of blockchain – executing complex logic and exchange of assets directly, simply and in strict privacy, without the need for costly reconciliation or a trusted intermediary.

We are proud to see R3 be continually recognised at the forefront of blockchain development in the financial market as we see the world begin to open their eyes to the potential of this technology.

Chatsworth delivers opening keynote at London FinTech Week

To Westminster, where Chatsworth’s CEO Nick Murray-Leslie was the opening keynote speaker at this years’ London FinTech Week.

 The event brought together the best and brightest FinTech firms, individuals, developers, and entrepreneurs.

 FinTech is a truly global sector, with focussed hubs developing in both developed and emerging markets.

Nick’s speech focused on London as a FinTech hub, how London had gained traction as a global fintech hub and what it must do to retain that critical position, from attracting investment and venture capital, the talent pool, expansion opportunities and the impact of Brexit.

He also introduced Richard Brown, CTO of R3 for a deep dive into how a major banking technology consortium chose London for its technical and operational HQ and how the city’s talent pool and unique position in the intersection of finance, timezones and continents contributed to its success.

R3 launches Corda Enterprise with world’s first blockchain firewall

This week Chatsworth worked with R3 in New York and London on the roll out the much-anticipated enterprise version of its Corda blockchain platform for businesses.

Corda Enterprise has been specifically optimized by R3 and its ecosystem to meet the demands of modern day businesses, especially complex institutions.

With the launch of Corda Enterprise, companies can now select a version of Corda that fits their unique needs – regardless of their industry, size, and stage of development. This means a wider range of institutions can realise the full potential of blockchain – executing complex logic and exchange of assets directly, simply and in strict privacy, without the need for costly reconciliation or a trusted intermediary.

Corda Enterprise includes the world’s only Blockchain Application Firewall, which enables the platform to be deployed inside corporate data centers while retaining the ability to communicate securely with other nodes anywhere else in the world. This is a critical requirement for many businesses when selecting a blockchain platform.

Corda Enterprise unlocks new opportunities for R3’s partner firms to expand their business, deliver new products to market faster and transform the industries in which they operate. Applications developed by partners such as Finastra, Gemalto, Guardtime, GuildOne, TradeIX and Tradewind Markets are now live on both Corda Enterprise and Corda, serving a rapidly growing community of end users in sectors as diverse as insurance, healthcare, shipping and financial services.

The launch of the platform is a watershed moment for business blockchain technology, and we are excited to continue supporting R3 as Corda Enterprise gains widespread adoption in markets across the globe.

R3 named Best Blockchain Initiative of the Year at Financial News Awards

R3 took home the ‘Best Blockchain Initiative of the Year‘ award at last night’s Financial News Trading & Technology Awards at the V&A in London.

The awards set out to celebrate the success stories of trading and technology firms operating in, and supporting, financial markets over the past year.

And it’s fair to say that the past twelve months have been very good indeed for R3. Its global network more than doubled in size, growing from 75 members in March 2017 to more than 200 today, the first CorDapp on Corda, R3’s blockchain platform has gone live and a successful Series A fundraising round in May 2017 raised $107m from more than 40 investors.

The next year is already shaping up to be another busy one for R3 with the commercial deployment of Corda Enterprise and more CorDapps due to be launched later in 2018 so watch this space.

R3 marks significant milestone with SAP integration

Commerzbank successfully completed an end-to-end integration of SAP S/4HANA business processes and R3’s Corda blockchain platform. This is a significant milestone as it demonstrates that blockchain technology can be easily integrated with software from SAP, the third largest independent software provider in the world.

By merging corporate SAP systems with distributed ledger technology, corporate clients can improve the efficiency of their trade and supply chain finance services. The deployment of Corda to the SAP Cloud Platform offers the opportunity to integrate technologies such as API Management, Machine Learning and Analytics.

Such an approach enables corporations to operate on a highly distributed but permission based and secure platform while fuelling the next wave of business innovations and utilizing the key benefits of blockchain-based technologies – trust, transparency and scalability.

Commerzbank is a member of R3’s global network and an active participant in a number of R3 initiatives on use cases in areas such as trade finance. SAP is actively collaborating with both R3 and R3 members.

“Trade finance is a key area of focus for R3 as we work with our partners to develop a vibrant ecosystem of applications on Corda. Integrating the platform with SAP’s business processes is a further milestone in enabling widespread adoption of Corda by businesses around the globe,” said David E. Rutter, Chief Executive Officer, R3.

R3 hosts CordaCon in London’s Square Mile

R3 CordaCon is the fintech event creating the most FOMO this week. The event in London’s Square Mile is massively oversubscribed due to demand.

R3 has brought the largest single group of blockchain-inspired technologists and business leaders together in one forum.

They’re coming together in discussions, panels and demonstrations exploring their work on Corda and have focused on a range of topics from technology design to commercial applications and regulatory policy issues.

R3 is also hosting a members’ forum with developers and technologists from global and regional banks, insurers and other financial services institutions

With over 100 members and dozens of projects currently underway, R3 has gathered significant momentum over the past two years. Building the new infrastructure for the financial services industry is a major undertaking, but R3 is powering full steam ahead with the industry firmly behind it.

Chatsworth client R3 secures record-breaking USD 107 investment in distributed ledger technology

We are delighted to announce that Chatsworth client R3 has secured one of the largest ever Series A investments in the global fintech industry, raising USD 107 million from over 40 institutions across the globe.

R3 is leading a consortium of banks and other financial institutions working together to develop a new operating system for the financial services industry based on distributed ledger technology (DLT), which was borne out of blockchain – the infrastructure that enables the transfer of virtual currencies such as Bitcoin.

Chatsworth has handled global PR for R3 since its launch in September 2015. During the last eighteen months we have worked closely with the financial, business and technology media to raise awareness and understanding of R3’s unique approach and technology as it sought to grow its network of members and investors.

Drawing on R3’s team of expert spokespeople, Chatsworth positioned the company and its members as thought leaders in this revolutionary technological field, securing thousands of pieces of coverage including tier 1 outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, FT, Bloomberg, Reuters and the Economist. R3 is now widely seen as the leading voice on distributed ledger technology, with its spokespeople regularly called upon to provide expert commentary in the press.

The awareness generated by this coverage helped fuel the momentum to drive R3’s growth from a fintech startup with eight finance and technology veterans and nine bank members to a global team of 110 professionals serving over 80 global financial institutions and regulators on six continents.

This massive investment marks the next stage in R3’s evolution. Many of the world’s largest financial firms have come together not just with capital support, but with a robust commitment to work with R3 in developing foundational industry solutions that will be the building blocks of the new financial services infrastructure.

We look forward to continuing our work with R3 as they take distributed ledger technology off the drawing board and onto the trading floor.

Regtech is booming, but is the UK missing out?

Regtech (n). Short form for the regulatory technology being created to meet regulatory monitoring, reporting and compliance.

Regtech is booming, with USD 2.99 billion invested globally across over 400 private investment deals in the last five years. 

Yet despite its predominant position in almost all other areas of financial technology, the UK is still lagging behind the US when it comes to regtech investment. 

Just 9% of the almost three billion invested since 2012 went to UK based companies, according to the CB Insights figures. This put it a distant second behind the US, which scooped up 78% of the total investment.
 
Banks are looking to reduce costs to cope with a tougher investment market and find ways to handle the flood of new rules which the January MiFID II deadline will unleash. In this environment, it is little wonder investors see the potential for technologies which promise to make compliance easier, more efficient or more reliable for the financial sector.
 
UK regulators appear to have spotted the opportunity as well, and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is looking to do what it can to help the UK’s regtech sector catch up with its transatlantic counterpart.
 
The regtech industry spans a wide variety of technologies and the industry which promises to make compliance easier, more efficient or more reliable. Some companies are using artificial intelligence to help banks comply with regulation, while the R3 group of over 40 banks is looking at how distributed ledger technology (DLT) can make reporting to regulators simpler.
 
Some regtech firms believe that Brexit could be a big boost to the UK’s regtech industry.  With the UK’s financial sector’s relationship with the EU now in flux, both in terms of regulatory equivalence and cross boarder trade, ““Brexit is a brilliant opportunity”, sais Diana Paredes, CEO of regtech start-up Suade.
 
The UK regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has also been working to encourage the UK regtech sector. The FCA’s executive director of strategy and competition, Chris Woolard, is keen to stress the role regtech companies can play. Talking to Financial News, he said, “It’s something quite positive where firms are taking quite seriously how they apply technology to their own compliance question.”
 
The FCA has also been leading the way when it comes to nurturing innovation. “There are other regulators around the world that have more funds and resources, and other regulators with more powers. But it was really only the UK financial regulator that has built into its governance a mandate to promote innovation and competition, as well as the traditional mandates of financial stability and consumer protection,” Imran Gulamhuseinwala, EY’s global leader for fintech, told the Financial Times.
 
Most notably, in 2015, the FCA launched its ‘sandbox’ to help companies developing new technologies. The sandbox allows banks firms which require regulatory approval before being able to operate their technology to test in a live environment. This allows firms which would otherwise need to develop their full technology and achieve FCA approval before fully testing their product, to develop their technology in a way which is responsive to both the FCA’s requirements and the demands of live operation.
 
So far, the sandbox service has proved popular with 69 companies applying for the first cohort in 2015 and a further 77 applying for the second cohort, according to a recent statement from the FCA. Following the success of the first cohort, the FCA has begun helping regulators across the globe to develop their own sandbox programmes, including in Japan, Canada and China.

It is heartening to see the UK regulator supporting this process and creating an environment where the next generation of firms who using technology to enhance the regulatory environment and reporting/confirmation/validation processes. 

Financial markets have been buffeted by scandal and repetitional damage of late. It is time to programme some trust into the source code.

David Rutter: 2017 the year of blockchain delivery

In the long history of humankind, those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed, says David Rutter, CEO of R3.

Darwin’s point holds true. Critical mass, momentum and co-operation are absolutely essential if we are to transform financial services and the communications and transactional framework we rely on.

This was our rationale for bringing banks together to jointly develop distributed ledger technology for the financial services industry from day one.

In R3 we have created a fast moving financial technology product company with an ownership structure which provides a balanced governance, combined with the leadership and stewardship of the best technologists in their respective fields.

The spaghetti junction of shared legacy infrastructure as well as individual front, middle and back office systems is testament to the resulting mess when banks disappear into development silos.

The overall cost of maintaining this legacy infrastructure is incalculable and there is risk around every corner, embedded into the old Cobol and Fortran code under the layers of many of those systems.

That is why we came together with an initial group of nine banks in September 2015 to create R3. A highly experienced and effective technology team was assembled and ready for action two months later.

Fast forward a year and there are now over 75 members of the R3 group – with two additions in the last week alone – working together on a diverse array of projects and developing technology to address some of the most serious pain points affecting the industry.

There is no secret. We hired the best, assembled and activated a powerful and engaged membership base and connected them together to leverage the network effect distributed ledger technology delivers.

Together, we have designed, built and launched Corda, the open-source release distributed ledger platform which will set the standard for this technology in global financial markets.

This is the only platform designed by and for its users and represents the world’s largest collaborative distributed ledger effort in financial services. It is unique and it is a landmark moment for the market.

Distributed ledger technology will have such phenomenally powerful network effects that it is hard to imagine serious institutions deploying base-layer ledger software that is anything other than fully and wholeheartedly open.

The response and engagement with Corda has been exceptional and only a few weeks after open sourcing the platform we have already had a vast number of contributions from the public developer community.

Amidst the excitement of the Corda roll-out, it’s hard to ignore the running commentary on the progress of our fundraising programme.

The motivation and accuracy behind some of the noise has sometimes been questionable, but such is the nature of working on such high-profile projects. It’s a complement to be discussed and we are very happy with constructive criticism, but better when the discussion is informed and accurate.

We have always expected the make-up of the consortium to change over time – our member base is so large and so diverse, it would be unrealistic not to expect some institutions’ priorities, resources and focus to travel in different directions.

We have new members joining the project all the time and some banks may choose to change the way in which they engage with us as we move forward, but the critical mass we have built over the last year means members can be confident they are investing in developing industry standard solutions that will be the building blocks of the new financial services infrastructure.

The financial institutions that have shown the vision to join R3 are by that very action ensuring the technology we adopt is built using common code and protocols, ensuring seamless interoperability and integration.

This is a direct hedge against the risk of replicating the disjointed infrastructure financial markets are forced to operate on today.

We remain focused on perfecting Corda and looking ahead to our objectives and deliverables for 2017 working together with our members.

We are on the cusp of a new era in financial technology, and over the next year banks will begin to reap the benefits that have been promised to them since the financial services industry recognized this technology’s potential to deliver efficiency, lower risk, security and cost reductions.

Let’s be clear: the power of distributed ledger technology lies in its network effect – and that goes for the build as much as the usage. The past few years were characterized by blockchain hype. Leveraging the combined power and expertise of our diverse and growing group of members, R3 will make 2017 the year of blockchain delivery.

R3’s Richard Gendal Brown named as top FinTech influencer

Silicon Republic, Ireland’s leading technology news provider, has named Richard Gendal Brown as one of the top thinkers, advisers and policymakers in the global FinTech. 

This list identified fintech thought leaders whose ideas are making an impact internationally and setting the tone for the broader European sector.

“Head of technology at R3, Richard Gendal Brown is a key figure in a burgeoning ledger industry that is revolutionising present-day banking. His move from IBM to R3 last year was a pivotal moment for the consortium.” – Silicon Republic

R3 has made its Corda distributed ledger platform open source, granting the global developer community universal access to its source code to encourage collaboration, review and contribution to the platform.

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Click for article top fintech influencers

R3’s David Rutter discusses blockchain technology at TechCrunch Disrupt 2016

David Rutter, founder and CEO of the R3 blockchain consortium took the stage in London earlier this week to discuss the progress of his company and underscore Wall Street’s enthusiasm over distributed ledger technologies.

Speaking at TechCrunch’s Disrupt London event, Rutter discussed R3’s distributed ledger platform Corda, spearheaded by the company’s CTO Richard Gendal Brown, the former executive architect for industry innovation and business development for IBM.

 Corda, which was open sourced last week, is a financial grade distributed ledger platform that records, executes and manages institutions’ financial agreements in perfect synchrony with their peers. It was designed from the ground up to address the specific needs of the financial services industry, and is the result of over a year of close collaboration between R3 and its consortium of over 70 of the world’s leading banks and financial institutions.

Rutter talked at length about how the platform had been heavily inspired by and captures the benefits of blockchain systems, but with design choices that make it able to meet the needs of regulated financial institutions. Crucially, Corda restricts access to data within an agreement to only those explicitly entitled to it, rather than the entire network. Rutter described it as the “plumbing and infrastructure for the future of finance.”

Asked what was wrong with the current “plumbing,” Rutter stressed that there’s simply too much room for improvement. Citing a McKinsey study, saying that its shows banks spend on the order of $3.6 trillion globally supporting their transactions, he likened current technologies to “spaghetti string.”

Rutter went on to say that R3 sees a “once in a generation” opportunity to help banks move to a secure financial infrastructure in the cloud – one that enables them to process and track nearly any kind of trade or money transfer nearly instantly, at less cost, rather than have to set aside money until each transaction is settled.

It’s a “panacea for regulators,” he added. “The way [things] work now, we record [transactions] on paper or enter them into a system” and there’s plenty of room for “shenanigans.” Meanwhile, he insisted, with distributed ledger technology, “the idea of hiding a ticket or manipulating a trade will be a thing of the past.”

R3 releases source code for Corda distributed ledger platform

R3

R3, Richard Gendal Brown, Cheif Technology Officer

R3 has made its Corda distributed ledger platform open source, granting the global developer community universal access to its source code to encourage collaboration, review and contribution to the platform.

Richard Brown, R3 Chief Technology Officer, provides an overview of the platform and the journey the R3 consortium members have taken towards the open sourcing of the distributed ledger platform.  

 Corda is a financial grade distributed ledger that records, executes and manages institutions’ financial agreements in perfect synchrony with their peers. It was built in close collaboration with over 70 banks and financial institutions and is already by far the biggest collaborative effort of its kind in the distributed ledger space.

It is captures the benefits of blockchain systems, but with design choices that make it able to meet the needs of regulated financial institutions.

Crucially, Corda restricts access to data within an agreement to only those who need to validate it. Financial agreements on Corda take the form of smart contracts, linking business logic and data to associated legal prose in order to ensure that the financial agreements on the platform are rooted firmly in law.

David Rutter, CEO of R3 comments: “The successful application of distributed ledger technology to financial services relies on new solutions being able to integrate and work seamlessly with each other, otherwise the disjointed infrastructure financial markets are forced to operate with today will simply be replicated with different technology. The applications being built therefore need to be based on common, open, interoperable platforms – much like the common protocols on which the internet operates today. Open sourcing Corda is the next step in making Corda one of these platforms”.

 

Russian institutions flock to join R3 consortium

Payment processor QIWI becomes the first Russian company to join the consortium’s global network.

R3, the global blockchain consortium behind the development and application of distributed ledger technology in financial markets, has expanded its membership with the addition of its first Russian member.

QiWi’s online payment system is one of the most widely used payment systems in Russia. It is used to make online purchases and pay for loans, mobile bills, and even home utilities, and offers terminals where users can make payments as they would on their mobile device.

QIWI is a payment services provider and the first Russian institution to collaborate with R3. It has long recognized the benefits of blockchain technology; earlier in July, the firm expressed interest in joining the blockchain consortium created by the Central Bank of Russia.

“Our goal with R3 is to explore this emerging technology space as we shape the future of payments and transactions throughout collaborative research with other members of the consortium,” says Sergey Solonin, QIWI’s chief executive officer. “We believe that blockchain projects that we are currently working on can be applied on one of the R3 platforms and have great potential to be favorably perceived by regulated financial institutions.”

The firm joins over 60 leading financial institutions, who collaborate in R3’s lab environment, R3’s Lab and Research Centre.

David Rutter, CEO of R3, said “The addition of QIWI is a further milestone for R3 … as we expand our network of consortium members and continue to develop truly global applications for this groundbreaking technology.”

R3 expands blockchain testing to bond markets, reference data and syndicated loans

 It’s been a busy week for R3 CEV. The blockchain consortium has partnered with Credit Suisse, Intel and Axoni to advance the use of distributed ledger technology in real world use-cases.

As the financial services industry rushes to integrate the nascent technology, blockchain to a variety of markets and applications, we take a look at how a single shared ledger for financial transactions could enhance US Treasury trading, the reference data industry and syndicated loans space.

Bond Markets

The R3 consortium has successfully completed blockchain testing for bond trading in partnership with Intel. The test, which involved eight banks including HSBC and State Street, enabled trading, matching and settlement of US Treasury bonds, as well as automated coupon payments and redemption.

The initiative is intended to simplify and standardise protocols and processes in the US Treasuries trading, a market that has become increasingly complex of late, as noted in a recent Fintech Focus article. In the clearing arena for example, challenges persist. While the Fixed Income Clearing Corporation (FICC) acts as a central counterparty for its membership, non-bank firms often don’t qualify for membership and if they do, find FICC membership costs prohibitive, opting instead for bilateral settlement outside the CCP model.

Syndicated Loans

 Symbiont and data provider Ipreo have joined Credit Suisse in utilising R3’s Lab and Research Centre to test how distributed ledger could be used in the syndicated loans market. By connecting agent banks via a blockchain, the initiative is expected to achieve faster and more secure settlement in the loans market.

The user benefits are clear and demonstrate the value distributed ledger technology can deliver in a wide variety of fields. Loan investors will have direct access to an authoritative system of records for syndicated loan data, a process that will reduce manual reviews, data re-entry and systems reconciliation.

 At present, the syndicated loans market requires each participants involved in a transaction to maintain its own separate lending system. By adopting blockchain technology, loan processing can be done exclusively on a shared distributed ledger – minimising middle and back office operations.

 Reference Data Market

R3 CEV has also announced a collaboration with capital markets technology provider Axoni, to test how blockchain technology can be used to enhance the reference data market. The project, which also involves Alliance Bernstein, Citi, Credit Suisse and HSBC is the latest example of how the financial services industry is finding new applications for the technology.

Reference data has become a real issue in financial markets of late as it accounts for up to 70% of the data used in transactions, but continues to be supported by legacy technology that often requires manual processing and constant upkeep. With reference data adding significantly to operational costs and ultimately affecting the bottom line for cost conscious institutions; it is a market ripe for innovation.

Moreover, as the market continues to grapple with regulatory measures designed to ensure firms manage and maintain the quality and accuracy of their reference data, many are now exploring the possibility of streamlining the process via a distributed ledger.

While those institutions developing blockchain solutions may have passed the proof of concept test, the need to tailor this technology to a variety of different use cases now presents the next challenge.

Blockchain set to streamline reference data market

Blockchain consortium R3 CEV have announced a collaboration with capital markets technology provider Axoni, to test how blockchain technology can be used to enhance the reference data market. The project, which also involves Alliance Bernstein, Citi, Credit Suisse and HSBC is the latest example of how the financial services industry is finding new applications for the technology.

Reference data has become a real issue in financial markets of late as it accounts for up to 70% of the data used in transactions, but continues to be supported by legacy technology that often requires manual processing and constant upkeep. With reference data adding significantly to operational costs and ultimately affecting the bottom line for cost conscious institutions; it is a market ripe for innovation. 

Moreover, as the market continues to grapple with regulatory measures designed to ensure firms manage and maintain the quality and accuracy of their reference data, many are now exploring the possibility of streamlining the process via a distributed ledger. 

In partnership with Axoni, R3 CEV recently completed a multi-month proof of concept (PoC) exercise, coordinated by Credit Suisse. The prototype was created using Axoni Core to simulate the management of reference data on the blockchain, and also inform corporate bond issuance. The technology enabled participants to interact with reference data after issuance, with any proposed changes requiring validation by the underwriter to ensure the ledger provided a single, unchangeable record of all data related to the bond.

David Rutter, CEO of R3, comments: “Quality of data has become a crucial issue for financial institutions in today’s markets. Unfortunately, their middle and back offices rely on legacy systems and processes – often manual – to manage and repair unclear, inaccurate reference data. Distributed ledger technology – which allows financial institutions to push these functions to a cloud environment – removes the need to reconcile multiple copies of data, providing a sophisticated and agile solution to the headaches currently caused by these legacy systems and processes.”

Whilst the study of distributed ledger technology’s application to reference data is still in its early stages, this project marks the first step in testing its potential.  

R3 patent application unveils its vision for future of blockchain technology

R3 executives speak publically for the first time about Project Concord and their vision for the future of blockchain technology.

Distributed ledger and blockchain technology represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform the economics of data management across the financial industry.

However, R3 believes the blockchain and distributed ledger platforms that led to this breakthrough moment were never designed to solve the problems of financial institutions and do not meet all their needs. These include tight linkage to the legal domain, an obligation to prevent client data being shared inappropriately and interoperability with existing financial infrastructure.

As reported in the Wall Street Journal, the R3 blockchain consortium filed a patent for its Corda shared ledger platform.

Corda is the outcome of the analysis R3 undertook on how to achieve as many of the benefits of distributed ledger and blockchain technology as possible but in a way that is sympathetic to, and addresses, the needs of regulated financial institutions.

The platform enables firms to record and process financial agreements using smart contracts, as explained in depth in R3 CTO Richard Gendal Brown’s latest whitepaper.

Corda is part of Project Concord, R3’s overall vision and roadmap for transforming financial services infrastructure. Concord will address challenges such as governance, internal record keeping and regulatory reporting across the financial services marketplace.

With a number of successful prototypes having already been completed on the Corda platform and an alpha launch of Concord scheduled for 2017, the next year looks set to be a turning point in the history of financial technology.

Blockchain technology receives vote of confidence from the World Economic Forum

A report from the World Economic Forum (WEF) highlights the central place distributed ledger technology such as blockchain will occupy in the future of the financial services industry.

The report focused on the impact of implementing blockchain technology across nine sectors: trade finance, automated compliance, global payments and asset rehypothecation, proxy voting, equity-post trade, syndicated loans, property casualty claims processing and contingency convertible bonds.

The aim of the report is to complement existing distributed ledger technology research and provide a clear view on how financial services functions can interpret and integrate the new technology.

Amongst the experts, who contributed to the report are Todd McDonald and Jo Lang of R3, and David Puth and Tom Zschach of currency settlement system CLS.

Recently, R3, a leading consortium with over 55 of the world’s largest financial institutions, successfully completed two prototypes that demonstrate how distributed ledger technology can address the key challenges of trade finance. It found that distributed and shared ledger technology as a digital alternative for trade financing is significantly faster, more reliable and cost-effective.

Key findings of the report include:

  • DLT has great potential to drive simplicity and efficiency through the establishment of new financial services infrastructure and processes
  • Applications of DLT will differ by use case, each leveraging the technology in different ways for a diverse range of benefits
  • The most impactful DLT applications will require deep collaboration between incumbents, innovators and regulators, adding complexity and delaying implementation
  • DLT is not a panacea; instead it should be viewed as one of many technologies that will form the foundation of next- generation financial services infrastructure
  • Digital Identity is a critical enabler to broaden applications to new verticals; Digital Fiat (legal tender), along with other emerging capabilities, has the ability to amplify benefits
  • New financial services infrastructure built on DLT will redraw processes and call into question orthodoxies that are foundational to today’s business models.

The report stressed that blockchain technology has the potential to significantly improve the financial services ecosystem, with 80 percent of banks currently in the process of working on blockchain projects in collaboration with incumbents and regulators.

R3 welcomes Thomson Reuters to distributed ledger consortium

Thomson Reuters has joined financial innovation firm R3 to design and apply distributed and shared ledger-inspired technologies.

As the first market data provider to join the consortium, Thomson Reuters will contribute insights from its work with customers to drive product innovation and transformation in the financial sector using distributed ledger technologies. The firm joins the global network of R3 partners united in its lab environment, the R3 Lab and Research Centre, which has quickly become a key centre for research and testing.

The R3 team of financial industry veterans, technologists and blockchain and cryptocurrency experts are already working with consortium members on research, experimentation, design and engineering to help advance this technology to meet banking requirements for identity, privacy, security, scalability, interoperability and integration with legacy systems.

R3 recently unveiled Corda™, its shared ledger platform specifically designed to record, manage and synchronise financial agreements between regulated financial institutions. It is heavily inspired by and captures the benefits of blockchain systems, without the design choices that make blockchains inappropriate for many banking scenarios.

R3 blockchain consortium leaders rise up technology rankings

Two top R3 executives featured on industry rankings in technology this week.

David Rutter, CEO of R3, and Richard Gendal Brown, CTO, appeared on the Institutional Investor Tech 50 and the Financial News Fintech 40 respectively.

David ranked at number 18 on this year’s Institutional Investor Tech 50 list, recognising the financial market acumen and technological sagacity that led him to launch R3 in 2014. The consortium now boasts over 55 institutions working with R3 to develop applications for distributed ledger technology in the financial services market which could change financial services as profoundly as the Internet changed media and entertainment.

Richard was named one the most influential people in the European financial technology sector for his work with R3, which includes overseeing the team of developers responsible for Corda, R3’s distributed ledger platform for financial services.

R3 Investigates Smart Contract Templates For Blockchain Inspired Platforms

R3 is spearheading efforts to understand and address the challenges of developing master templates for smart contracts, the self-executing contractual agreements used to trade, record and manage assets on distributed and shared ledger platforms. The firm is also exploring how these features could be implemented within existing legal and regulatory frameworks.

Following the R3 Smart Contract Templates Summit in London and New York in late June, R3 has agreed to collaborate with a diverse working group of its consortium members, standards bodies, law firms, academic institutions, exchanges and market infrastructure providers, including Barclays, the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA), Norton Rose Fulbright and University College London (UCL). The group will begin exploring the development of repositories of smart contract templates for banks to download and use on blockchain-inspired platforms, such as R3’s Corda.

At the summit the group discussed potential roadmaps for development, with a short-term focus on understanding the challenges of connecting existing real-world legal contracts for products such as interest rate swaps, to smart contracts – enabling the simplification of legal documentation and mutualisation of costs for banks.

The R3 Smart Contract Templates Summit’s presentation is now publicly available here:

Currently each bank stores its own instance of contracts, which can introduce inconsistencies and reconciliation challenges. Smart contracts operating on distributed and shared ledgers enable each of the parties to see the same agreed set of legal documents.

The group’s longer term goals include working with the legal community and academics to investigate how to take smart contracts to a point where they can be admissible in court and used for entry into dispute resolution. An update will be given at the second R3 Smart Contract Templates Summit later this year.

R3 Develop Solution To Prevent Blockchain Front Running

According to R3, the blockchain model as it stands will not be suitable for financial services, as it would allow everyone to see exactly what was being traded, when it was being traded and who by – potentially allowing competitors the opportunity to front-run each other.

CEO, David Rutter and Managing Director, Charley Cooper, explain how R3 is trying to strike the balance between the original purpose of the blockchain – to have a public record of transactions that must be verified by the majority of involved parties – and maintaining an appropriate level of transparency and anonymity as required by banks, financial institutions and regulatory authorities.

To read the full article in Fortune, please click here.

R3 at Consensus 2016: focus on payments and smart contracts

When International Business Times interviewed Chatsworth client R3 at last week’s Consensus 2016 conference in New York, CEO David Rutter took the opportunity to highlight payments and smart contracts as two key areas of development for the consortium and outlined his intention to partner with other fintech firms to deliver solutions in these areas, in addition to building apps unilaterally.

R3 is currently working with its members to examine a number of use cases in its Lab and Research Centre, which has quickly become the centre of gravity for use-case testing and evaluation of blockchain-inspired technologies, bringing together banks, non-banks, both established and start-up financial technology companies, trade associations and regulators. Based on the findings from these lab-based experiments, R3 will develop commercial applications for the financial services industry that leverage the appropriate elements of distributed and shared ledger technology.

To find out more about R3’s plans, head over to International Business Times.

R3 Announces Corda™, a Blockchain-Inspired Platform for Financial Services

Chatsworth client R3 has announced that it is building a platform, Corda, for its members to test use-cases and evaluate blockchain-inspired technologies. Richard Gendal Brown, Chief Technology Officer at R3 explains more below:

“As reported in Bloomberg this morning, I’m delighted to confirm that R3 and our member banks are working on a distributed ledger platform for financial services: Corda™.

“For the last six months, my team and contributors from our membership have been building a distributed ledger platform prototype from the ground up, specifically designed to manage financial agreements between regulated financial institutions. I am massively excited by the progress our team, led by James Carlyle, our Chief Engineer, and Mike Hearn, our Lead Platform Engineer, are making and I think the time is right to share some details.”

Read Richard’s full blog post here.

Microsoft and R3 partner to accelerate adoption of blockchain-inspired technologies

Tech giant Microsoft and Chatsworth client R3 today announced a strategic partnership that will accelerate the use of blockchain-inspired distributed and shared ledger technologies among R3 member banks and global financial markets, as reported by the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg.

These technologies enable enterprises and business network participants to complete financial transactions with greater speed, security, cost-efficiency and transparency relative to solutions currently used.

As part of the partnership, R3 will use Microsoft Azure as a preferred cloud services provider in its R3 Lab and Research Centre, where distributed and shared ledger technologies are being developed and tested and use-cases carried out based on an extremely rigorous, empirical-evidence based process.

The Lab and Research Centre has quickly become the centre of gravity for use-case testing and evaluation of blockchain-inspired technologies, bringing together banks, non-banks, both established and start-up financial technology companies, trade associations and regulators.

R3 and consortium members will have access to Microsoft’s expanding ecosystem of Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) partners including Ethereum and ConsenSys, Ripple, Eris Industries, Coinprism, Factom, BitPay, Manifold Technology, AlphaPoint, IOTA, BlockApps STRATO, Tendermint LibraTax, and many others that will aid in the development, testing and deployment of distributed ledger applications in cloud, hybrid and local environments.

Settlement risks involving public blockchains – R3

Entrepreneurs, investors and enthusiasts claim that public blockchains are an acceptable settlement mechanism and layer for financial instruments. But Chatsworth client R3 argues that public blockchains by design cannot definitively guarantee settlement finality, and as a result, they are currently not a reliable option for the clearing and settling of financial instruments.

Read the full article by R3’s Tim Swanson on TabbFORUM

FinTech comes of age

The great and good of global finance and technology descended on the City of London Business School this week for a thought leadership discussion on the growing influence of new technology on the financial ecosystem. The discussion and content was excellent.

The FT’s chief economics commentator, Martin Wolf, chairing one of the panels provides an insightful summary of proceedings in his comment piece here

Chatsworth client,  R3 took a lead role in the panel debate, with observations on blockchain and its likely application to finance. The R3 team is leading the field in developing blockchain technology with its consortium of over 40 banks took a lead role in the panel debate.

We have worked in this field for over a decade, through the advent of electronic broking systems on traders’ desktops, evolving into more automation through API-based trading, first in equity markets and then into other asset classes such as FX.

This is now entering a whole new game, where incumbent systems and institutions are being challenged, and as a result need to adjust their models, technology and value proposition accordingly.

Our instinct is that the technology is the delivery mechanism but not the answer in itself.

Established systems, venues and institutions have the legal frameworks, proven capabilities, customer usage/coverage and liquidity in place – this is where their real value lies.

New technology is more likely to complement and integrate rather than entirely reorder the plumbing of global financial markets from top to bottom. That is why the meeting of the minds have to take place between financial markets practitioners and technologists.

Finance is a market of natural interest which rewards innovation  – it  will naturally size up and absorb the best emergent tech.

R3 brings eleven major global financial institutions together on a cloud based distributed ledger

Transition from vision to execution signifies commitment to practical application of distributed ledger technology

Financial technology innovation company, R3 CEV, today announced the successful completion of a ground breaking distributed ledger experiment involving eleven of the world’s largest financial institutions.

R3 and consortium member banks Barclays, BMO Financial Group, Credit Suisse, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, HSBC, Natixis, Royal Bank of Scotland, TD Bank, UBS, UniCredit and Wells Fargo each connected on an R3-managed private peer-to-peer distributed ledger, underpinned by Ethereum technology and hosted on a virtual private network in Microsoft Azure, the public cloud platform offering Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) in an accelerated development environment.

Participants were able to explore the technology’s potential to execute financial transactions instantaneously across the global private network. The banks simulated exchanging value, represented by tokenized assets on the distributed ledger without the need for a centralized third party.

In bringing a significant number of major banks onto a multi-lateral distributed ledger with global scale, the experiment – which was curated in the R3 Global Collaborative Labs (GCL) environment – represents a significant milestone in collaboration for the R3 consortium and a major step forward for the application of distributed ledger technology across the entire industry.

This collaborative experiment is the first in a series of projects, using a range of candidate distributed ledger technologies, and is designed to prove suitability of distributed ledgers for financial markets use cases. R3 will be announcing a series of additional projects borne out of its collaborative lab workshops over the course of 2016.

David Rutter, CEO of R3, commented: “The transition from vision and hypothesis to application and execution signifies the next major step towards using this technology to transform how institutions interact, report and trade with each other in financial markets. This is a very exciting development, both for R3 and our member banks, as well as the global financial services industry as a whole.”

Since launching its distributed ledger consortium in September last year, R3 has been running industry collaborative joint working groups with its 42 member banks to design and deploy advanced shared ledger technology in the global financial sector, incorporating multiple open source technologies and standards.

Several of the banks involved in the effort commented on the experiment:

“As we progress our evaluations of shared ledgers and smart contracts, we look forward to leveraging R3’s lab environment for collaborative technology experiments,” said Brad Novak, Chief Technology Officer for the Investment Bank at Barclays. “Ethereum is a well-known open source technology in this space and we also look forward to collaborative experiments using other technologies.”

“We innovate with the objective of providing effective, secure and convenient solutions to meet our customers’ needs,” said Cameron Fowler, Group Head, Canadian Personal and Commercial Banking, BMO Financial Group. “The successful completion of this experiment validates the potential of blockchain technology and we will continue to play a meaningful role in its development, along with our partners in R3.”

“Blockchain is an emerging focus for our industry and Credit Suisse. As one of the early participants with R3 we are very happy to be part of the consortium which leads the industry’s research into the value and applicability of this technology”, said Stephan Hug, Group Chief Architect, Credit Suisse. “We feel it is critical to be engaged to identify the opportunities that innovative technologies like this provide and ensure we maintain our position as a globally leading financial institution.”

“The new R3 globally accessible lab environment is enabling both R3 and member banks to collaborate technically on experiments related to shared ledger and smart contracts technology. As demonstrated by the first project that is already up and running, this lab platform will aid faster experimentation, provide technical agility and aid learning greatly,” said Richard Herbert, CIO, Global Banking and Markets, HSBC.

“Blockchain technology represents a fundamental shift for financial services, and we think it is important to be close to the technology being developed. Natixis is glad to cooperate with R3CEV and consortium member banks to enable and accelerate this transformation with a collaborative approach. This experiment is a significant milestone to bring this technology to market and it underscores our long-standing commitment to explore technology that has the potential to greatly enhance our customers’ experience”, said Olivier Perquel, Head of Financing and Global Markets for the Corporate and Investment Bank of Natixis.

Kevin Hanley, Director of Design, Services, at Royal Bank of Scotland commented: “We continue to be excited about the possibilities that blockchain offers and encouraged with the progress that we are making with others through our involvement with R3 and GCL.”

“At TD, we have an ongoing commitment to technical innovation. To be successful, we need to collaborate in the spaces that allow us to provide continued excellence for our customers,” says Jeff Henderson, EVP and CIO for TD Bank Group. “Blockchain and R3’s initial project is a sign of our industry’s willingness and ability to transform; TD is playing a leadership role in shaping our industry’s future.”

“Proving the scale and peer-to-peer operation of blockchain experiments is an important next-step in this transformational initiative. Through connecting 11 bank labs into a simulated-real-world network, we’re able to establish the platform we need to test our theories effectively in a safe environment,” added Alex Batlin, UBS Senior Innovation Manager.

“The kick-off of this project, within the R3 Global Collaborative Labs initiative, is another step forward for UniCredit in the evolutionary path undertaken in order to exploit the benefits of blockchain technology, which represents a powerful enabler to keep playing a leading role in the financial services arena” said Paolo Fiorentino, Deputy General Manager of UniCredit.

Blockchain in the headlines

We’re delighted to have secured front page coverage for one of Chatsworth’s newest clients, R3, in The Economist and Euromoney this week.

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The Economist article provides an in-depth look at how the blockchain works – from its genesis underpinning bitcoin, to how it can be used in the protection of luxury goods – and highlights R3’s “first order of business” to develop “a standardised architecture for private ledgers.”

Read the article here.

 

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Euromoney’s Peter Lee investigates what blockchain means for banking and spoke to R3’s David Rutter about the initiative.

Read the article here.