EXCLUSIVE: Swift makes progress on a blockchain settlement system

EXCLUSIVE: Swift makes progress on a blockchain settlement system

The company behind the interbank messaging system has presented several banks with a system for settling transactions on blockchain.

The development of blockchain is calling into question the existence of a good number of traditional financial players such as Swift. But the company that runs the interbank messaging system has no intention of being left behind.

According to our information, it is working on a settlement system based on smart contracts that are interoperable with several blockchains, including Ethereum. When two participants want to carry out a transaction, they notify it via Swift's messaging system, which is then responsible for confirming it and then triggering payment on the blockchain for the tokenised assets via a system of smart contracts.

"This system is clearly transitional pending the development of regulated stablecoins or a central bank digital currency as a settlement asset. It allows Swift to put a concrete foot in the blockchain world by offering a transitional option to its customers", confided a manager at a French bank.

A demonstration of the system even took place yesterday at Swift's Paris offices and was attended by several French banks in particular. Although the system is still at the experimental stage for the time being, "the results are very positive and very promising for the future", confided a French banker.

"The fact that a player like Swift is moving forward with a settlement architecture is a good signal. It enables collaboration between players in the market, which is essential for the emergence of a common standard", confided another participant.

Until now, French banks have been conducting experiments in their own corners. Having notably announced the listing of its stablecoin, CoinVertible, on Bitstamp, Société Générale group subsidiary SG-Forge is for the moment the most visible on the subject.

But as we revealed just a few months ago, BNP Paribas is said to be "at least as well advanced" as its rival on issues of tokenisation. Through CACIB, its corporate and investment bank, Crédit Agricole has launched So|Bond, a platform that should enable its clients to tokenise assets on blockchain.

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