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 of a realistic financial market infrastructure that could also serve as a basis for further development. After the tests, both the Hyperledger Fabric and the Digital Asset Platform were subsequently released.
Burkhard Balz, a member of the executive board of Deutsche Bundesbank, said: “During this project, Deutsche Bundesbank and Deutsche Börse learned a lot about the usage of this technology and its concrete implementation. We expect the rapid development to continue, and also see the potential in using it for high-volume applications.
“The approach of a permissioned architecture, which takes into account the requirements of the financial sector from the outset, has proven to be right.”
As the usage of the blockchain technology in finance spreads, banking systems in the UK and Switzerland are at risk of a serious disruption, according to a Moody’s report from earlier this year. It says that the technology’s potential to significantly cut transaction costs and time could initially seem like a positive for banks but could actually start eating into their bottom line. It states: “While making cross-border transactions faster and less expensive would be credit positive for banks, these efficiencies could also compress their fees and commissions, a credit negative.” The UK tops Moody’s list of countries handling cross-border payments, while Switzerland is at the third position.
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