Nasdaq teams up with Microsoft to bring interoperability to financial framework tool

Nasdaq already has strategies and templates in place for blockchain technologies – but the company is enlisting Microsoft to help take it to the next level. The two companies are coming together to put Nasdaq’s Financial Framework (NFF), which powers a ‘vast’ portfolio of business apps and services across the trading lifecycle, onto the Microsoft Azure blockchain “to build a ledger-agnostic blockchain capability that supports a multi-ledger strategy”, in the words of the...

Deutsche Bundesbank and Deutsche Börse complete blockchain prototype tests

German central bank Deutsche Bundesbank and capital market company Deutsche Börse have recently completed performance tests of their jointly specified prototypes for securities settlement that were developed on the Hyperledger Fabric (version 1.0) and the Digital Asset Platform. During the testing, the prototypes - which support the settlement of securities transactions, payments, interest payments and repayments at the maturity of a bond - showed capabilities for the productive operation...

Gold is back for the digital age, and it’s better than ever

Over the past ten years, the world tumbled into and subsequently climbed out of one of the worst recessions in modern history. Several factors contributed to this recovery, and all of them were positive. The housing market began gaining steam, unemployment numbers dropped steadily, and, perhaps most prominently, the stock market surged. As CNN Business recently noted, “Stocks hit their bottom in March 2009 and have been climbing for more than nine years. The S&P 500 has more than...

UN & Kiva launch blockchain-based ID system for citizen loans in Sierra Leone

Divisions of the United Nations (UN) are working with the nation of Sierra Leone and a non-profit tech company Kiva to launch a blockchain-based ID system, with initial sights set on ‘modernising’ the country’s credit bureau. The project, which has been backed by the UN’s Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and Development Program (UNDP) - and welcomed by Sierra Leone’s President Maada Bio - seeks to make the country less dependent on international aid by making loans more readily...

New blockchain-based Komgo platform set to transform commodity trading

Good news for traders across the world; global banks, along with international trading companies, have recently announced the first blockchain-based platform, called Komgo, that will allow financing for trading of commodities ranging from oil to wheat. The platform, which will be developed in partnership with blockchain technology company ConsenSys, will go live later in 2018, and will be run by Switzerland-based Komgo SA, whose founders include ABN AMRO, BNP Paribas, Citi, Crédit Agricole...

Blockchain could lift trade finance by $1.1T, benefiting SMEs & emerging markets

The use of distributed ledger technology (DLT) could lead to a $1T boost in trade finance available to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in emerging markets. That’s owed to its potential to mitigate credit risk, lower fees and remove barriers to trade, according to research by the World Economic Forum (WEF). The WEF’s head of supply chain and transport industry, Wolfgang Lehmacher, said that blockchain-based solutions “can eventually do more for SMEs in emerging markets than...

IBM takes real-time cross-border World Wire payments out of beta

IBM is taking its Blockchain World Wire cross-border payment platform out of beta. Based on Stellar protocol, IBM says the World Wire will make it possible for financial institutions to clear and settle cross-border payments - which can take up to three days to clear - “in seconds”. According to the launch page, two financial organisations transacting together will agree to use “a stable coin, digital currency or other digital assets” as a bridge between any two fiat currencies....

JP Morgan CIO says blockchain will ‘replace existing tech’

The chief information officer of JP Morgan, Lori Beer, has said that blockchain will “replace existing technology”, according to the Argentinian website Cripto247 at a recent press conference in Buenos Aires.   The comment reaffirms a change of tack for one of the world’s oldest financial companies, whose CEO, Jamie Dimon, last year said bitcoin was a “fraud”, threatening to fire any employee “stupid” enough to invest in it. Since then, Dimon has conceded that...

World’s first blockchain bond is launched by World Bank and CBA

The World Bank and Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) have launched the world’s first bond created and managed using blockchain technology. Announcing the initiative early this month, the World Bank appointed CBA to lead the fund’s development on August 15, dubbing the prototype deal bond-i, standing for Blockchain Operated New Debt Instrument (and a pun on Sydney’s famous beach). Since then, the bond has outstripped initial estimates to raise $80.48m (£62m) for the World Bank....

Is blockchain the answer to avoiding VISA-sized woes?

In recent times data breaches were considered the biggest worries for financial institutions, however, a new reputational risk issue is now on the rise - disruption of payment systems, with even global companies struggling to cope with the after effects of such outages. In particular, two recent card payment incidents hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons. Firstly, there were problems encountered by BP in its petrol stations across the UK where no card payments could be accepted for...