The world’s leading financial messaging network known as the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) has entered in a partnership with the Singapore Exchange (SGX) and a number of prominent banking institutions to hold a blockchain-based shareholder e-voting proof-of-concept (PoC).
The PoC will be carried out in the Asia Pacific region. It is intended to demonstrate whether blockchain technology can become a good alternative to the traditional paper-based process and whether distributed ledger technology is an appropriate choice to improve the management of shareholder meetings.
A group of other participants of this initiative includes Deutsche Bank, DBS, HSBC, Standard Chartered Bank, and securities software provider SLI.
All the participants of the initiative expressed their excitement about the possibility to implement the emerging technology in their processes and improve their effectiveness in the nearest future.
For example, Soh Ee Fong, Group Head, Securities and Fiduciary Services at DBS, stated:
“An innovative and seamless e-Voting platform in this industry is long overdue and DBS is pleased to join SWIFT in the PoC as both issuer and participant. With this solution, shareholder meetings will not be the same again. As the world’s best digital bank, DBS is proud to contribute our digital experience to help bring forward this initiative.”
As it has become known, DBS and SGX will be both participants and issuers in this test while HSBC, Deutsche Bank, and the Standard Chartered Bank will act just as participants. The entire project will be carried out in SWIFT’s DLT sandbox testing environment.
Goals of the Test
According to the information revealed by SWIFT in its press release, the PoC will take place during the first half of 2019 and it has four key goals.
The main one is to test the deployment of a voting solution in collaboration with the issuers and a Central Securities Depository (CSD). One of the conditions of utilizing this solution is to ensure data storage and management on a permissioned private blockchain.
The second goal is to demonstrate the viability of hybrid solutions based on messaging and DLT with a view to boost interoperability and decrease the risk market fragmentation.
Also, with the help of this PoC it will be possible to see whether SWIFT technology is able to host securely third-party applications in its DLT environment. Moreover, the test is designed to demonstrate the practical use of a particular financial electronic data interchange standard — ISO 20022.
Let us also remind that despite all concerns SWIFT still dominates the industry with its innovations. According to the recently published report, SWIFT global payments innovation (GPI) held a share of over 50% of messaging traffic in the interbank payment network in 2018 which means that the company is not going to quit the competition due to a number of new industry’s players.