The Blockchain & Distributed Ledger Conference took place in New York on April 13-14. Remarkably, it is the first conference of that kind although the attention of multiple financial institutions has been recently focused on bitcoin and particularly on its underlying technology, blockchain.
International Banker sticks to the opinion that bitcoin has been recently receiving most of attention among start-up initiatives that can be technically referred to FinTech sphere. Although not everything is clear about its reputation and reliability, the growth in the use of the cryptocurrency has been phenomenal with 2015 seeing the number of bitcoin transactions per day growing by 150 percent, and the total number of bitcoins in circulation increasing by a solid 10 percent across the 12 months. Almost 15 million bitcoins were in circulation with a total market value of more than $6 billion at the end of 2015.
According to the announcement, the Blockchain & Distributed Ledger Conference brought together an unparalleled faculty of in-house counsel and compliance professionals, senior executives from industry-leading companies, high-level regulatory and enforcement officials, and top outside counsel. Altogether they intended to cover all the necessary insights and tools to navigate the legal, compliance, technical, operational and business hurdles arising from distributed ledgers.
The representative of blockchain consortium R3 CEV delivered a speech at the conference and mentioned that the consortium is developing now eight different proofs-of-concept aimed at usage of distributed ledgers for facilitation and regulation of financial transactions. The list of spheres where R3CEV is planning to leverage the ledgers includes system interoperability, payments, settlement, trade finance, corporate bonds, repos, swaps, and insurance.
R3 CEV was created by fintech company R3 last year with one primary goal – to adopt the blockchain technology in an attempt to broaden its use in the financial services sector. There are currently 42 banks in the consortium, including JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse and UBS.
Kevin Hanley, Director of Design at Royal Bank of Scotland, one of the participants, says about the consortium: “The collaborative model we’ve established with R3 and the other banks is a very effective way to deliver robust shared ledger solutions to the financial services sector. Right now you’re seeing significant money and time being spent on exploration of these technologies in a fractured way that lacks the strategic, coordinated vision so critical to timely success. The R3 model is changing the game.”
Reportedly, R3 CEV is now working on Corda, a new distributed ledger system. The new Corda platform was specifically developed to record and control agreements between financial organizations.
“Corda is a distributed ledger platform designed from the ground up 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,” said Richard G Brown, company’s CTO.