SWIFT introduces proof-of-concept test of blockchain transactions between banks

12 January 2017

swiftToday global provider of secure financial messaging services SWIFT announced its plans to introduce the proof-of-concept pilot aimed at researching the application of distributed ledger technology for performing cross-border transactions and settlements among the banks. The ‘research effort’ comes within the framework of the processor’s global payments innovation (GPI) program.

Currently the transactions between the banks may be monitored only by accessing overseas accounts using the statements at the end of the day and credit and debit reports. Under the new initiative with the application of blockchain technologies SWIFT seeks to streamline the process and allow the financial institutions to monitor the transaction process in a real time.

Meantime, there is no certainty about the future launch of the final version of application for blockchain powered cross-border payments. As noted by a spokesperson for SWIFT, the distributed ledger technology is not mature enough but if underpinned by improvements and other features developed by SWIFT this technology may be of interest for institutions in associated account reconciliation. Using the proof-of-concept test period SWIFT plans to examine the opportunities of blockchain’s potential use in practice.

According to the company statement the project will be based on the open-source Hyperlender technology complete with SWIFT features to bring it in compliance with the industry practices.

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