This article in Business Insider suggests that two blockchain solutions are close to going live. First up is the BNP Paribas Securities Services solution:
“BNP Paribas Securities Services is preparing to scale its securities solution. The French bank’s securities subdivision and SmartAngels, an equity crowdfunding company, announced the successful live testing of a blockchain-based securities trading platform. The platform automates the mandatory updating of a company’s share register by automatically recording securities issued by the organization, and who buys them, on a distributed ledger. The aim is to make share issuing easier for companies, and secondary markets more accessible for their investors. The tests included one BNP Paribas Securities Services client company, and four SmartAngels customers. BNP said the partners will now begin scaling the platform by signing on more users, with a view to taking it live. No launch date has been set, but this is a promising step toward real-world usage.”
The second solution apparently close to going live is from Natixis:
“Natixis executed a live transaction on a blockchain. Giant French asset manager Natixis successfully sold shares in its funds to investors through a blockchain-based fund distribution platform, FundsDLT. The platform works by allowing investors to submit their share orders using the FundsDLT app, with the details automatically uploaded to the platform. The transaction is then confirmed by a transfer agent, triggering clearing and settlement processes, which all happen within the solution. The platform also sends updates to Natixis and all other involved parties. FundsDLT was jointly developed by Luxembourg Stock Exchange subsidiary Fundsquare, PostGroup subsidiary InTech, and KPMG Luxembourg. Although the transaction had limited scope, it serves as a live use case, so the parties can now focus on scaling.”
While both BNP Paribus Securities Services and Natixis have released press releases indicating the momentous changes blockchain will have on the business of trading, neither has provided any significant details regarding the configuration and operation of the blockchain these services will be operating on.
Natixis indicates that it partnered with IBM and announced that the solution will operate on “a distributed ledger platform, built on the Linux Foundation open source Hyperledger Fabric.” The Hyperledger Fabric however can be implemented in many different ways, many of which have little resemblance to a full blockchain.
So we are left not knowing how many nodes will be operated or by whom. If, like most pilots, only a few nodes are spun up and all of them are operated by the same cloud service, then the true power of the blockchain will not be utilized and the application could likely have been implemented faster and with less effort utilizing a traditional cloud-based database application. We wait to hear the details!
Overview by Tim Sloane, VP, Payments Innovations Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group
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