Applications of distributed ledger technology, artificial intelligence/machine learning, big data analytics or cloud computing have significant potential to alter the lifecycle of bonds, from issuance, trading to settlement, and impact the functioning of financial markets.
The following compendium is designed to provide a non-exhaustive overview of selected practical examples in fixed income primary, secondary, repo and collateral markets. It is based on publicly available information, notably press releases of executed proofs of concept or planned developments. This compendium is provided by ICMA for information purposes only and ICMA does not endorse any of those firms and solutions listed below.
Relevant firms that have made similar public announcements and wish to be included in this compendium are very welcome to get in touch. Please contact Gabriel Callsen (see below).
The information and content provided herein have been obtained from public sources. This information is provided by ICMA for information purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal, financial or other professional advice. While the information contained herein is taken from sources believed to be reliable, ICMA does not represent or warrant that it is accurate or complete and neither ICMA nor its employees shall have any liability arising from or relating to the use of this publication or its contents.
20 April 2022 - Singtel partners UOB and ADDX on digital sustainability-linked bond
15 February 2022 – FQX and SIX Digital Exchange to collaborate on Blockchain-based short-term debt instruments
Switzerland’s SIX Digital Exchange (SDX), the world’s first fully FMI licensed digital asset exchange, and FQX, a SIX Fintech Ventures portfolio company, have agreed to collaborate to enable the use of FQX’s blockchain-based short-term debt instruments, eNotes™, on SDX. Today’s short-term financing markets are vast with an estimated $65tn+ in annual transaction volumes globally. Due to legacy systems and a lack of global standardization, these markets are widely fragmented and inefficient, causing liquidity silos. FQX’s infrastructure for a standardized, digital debt instrument, the eNoteTM, in combination with SDX’s digital financial market infrastructure, work hand in hand to break these silos. Thus, locked up liquidity is released while trust and transparency are enhanced.
An eNote™ is an unconditional promise to pay a specific sum to another party at a specific future date and can be modularly structured to fit any financing purpose. The eNote™ is based on blockchain technology and can be easily transferred to any third party (i.e. an investor). When compared to other financing tools, eNotes™ excel through their modularity and global transferability, based on a standardized legal framework. Single eNotes are stored as NFTs on a blockchain. By issuing multiple eNotes, an issuer can obtain financing in a way comparable to commercial papers.
14 February 2022 - Japan Exchange Group announces research to commence on digitally tracked green bonds using security tokens
As part of its efforts to achieve carbon neutrality across group companies, as well as to improve the overall operational efficiency of bond issuance through digitalization, Japan Exchange Group, Inc. (JPX) has started looking into raising funds through issuance of security tokens in the form of a "Digitally Tracked Green Bond" using technology from BOOSTRY. JPX is now considering raising part of the funds needed for energy generation facility investments by issuing a Digitally Tracked Green Bond, which is the subject of the current research.
A "Digitally Tracked Green Bond" is a bond that utilizes digital technologies such as blockchain to improve transparency of data and efficiency of data collection, thereby tackling issues that have been raised by both issuers and investors of green bonds around the transparency of data and complexity of the data collection process needed for green investment. This is the first initiative of its kind in Japan. Specifically, in order to improve transparency around the use of funds raised by the planned bond issue, we will create a mechanism that automatically measures the amount of power generated by the solar and biomass power generation facilities and converts it into an amount of CO2 reduced. By utilizing digital technologies in this way, JPX will aim for greater transparency than just annual reporting by creating a mechanism that enables investors to monitor progression from outside at any time. The primary objective of this initiative is to help JPX achieve carbon neutrality as an issuer, but in the future, we aim to contribute to the carbon neutrality of society as a whole by sharing the lessons learned and the issues discovered in the process.
9 February 2022 – Fnality, Nivaura and Adhara collaborate with NatWest and Santander to execute pilot debt transaction
Three UK FinTechs, in collaboration with two major European banks, today announced the successful completion of a pilot proof of concept (POC) involving the issuance of a tokenised security on a public blockchain, with the payment leg conducted through a new, DLT-enabled payments system. Fnality – the FinTech firm creating a network of distributed payment systems using blockchain technology – partnered with Nivaura – the FinTech firm developing low-code/no-code transaction management workflow automation technology for primary markets – to structure, execute and settle a tokenised primary securities issuance, with the payment leg settled in a test central bank money-backed digital asset. Fnality also partnered with Adhara – a leading software company that provides real time, multi-currency, liquidity management and international payment solutions – to facilitate the payment leg via the creation of an Ecosystem TestNet.
The TestNet is an early working and live example of how Fnality’s DLT-based payment systems will help facilitate several benefits and use cases, including intraday liquidity savings, end-to-end repurchase agreements, and interbank intraday FX swaps. It has been adopted alongside Nivaura’s product by Santander and NatWest for the purposes of this POC to demonstrate, in what has traditionally been a time-intensive and manual process, a near-instant solution that structures, executes and settles trades on a T=0 basis, enabling participants to easily accelerate time to market for debt issuances. NatWest and Santander acted as the two counterparties to the transaction, demonstrating the ability of DLT to streamline both capital markets and payments activity in the future.
11 January 2022 - FQX, Credit Suisse (Schweiz) AG, SFS & Mikron announce the completion of blockchain-based eNotesTM pilot
FQX, Credit Suisse (Schweiz) AG, SFS & Mikron announced the successful completion of a Pilot using eNotesTM as a financing instrument. In a pilot transaction, leveraging the technology built by the Zurich-based FinTech FQX, Credit Suisse provided financing to SFS & Mikron using the electronic Promissory Note, or eNoteTM. The eNoteTM is a blockchain-based short-term debt instrument with which corporates like SFS & Mikron can radically facilitate their corporate treasury operations while increasing financial steering flexibility.
16 December 2021 – Banque de France experiment on issuance of a digital bond and subscription with settlement in CBDC
The Banque de France successfully completed the last experiment of its programme for interbank settlements in Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), launched in March 2020. The final experiment was jointly conducted with a group of private actors led by HSBC. The experiment consisted in the issuance of a digital bond on a Blockchain and its subscription with a settlement in CBDC. The experiment successfully tested an end-to-end transactional lifecycle of digital assets, through issuance, subscription by several actors, and coupon payment involving a conversion into another currency. All those transactions occurred across different Blockchain environments operated by HSBC for the custody of the assets, and by the Banque de France for the securities settlement and the CBDC.
The communication across the different environments relies on several interoperability components developed specifically, and which represent the benefit of this experiment. They allowed the transfer of the data pertaining to the digital bond across chains, to trigger automatically and atomically the settlement and the accounting of the securities, cash and foreign exchange flows in the various environments, whilst guaranteeing that the Banque de France could control the usage of the central bank money. All those operations were jointly conducted with HSBC and its technology partner IBM, members of the group of actors specifically established for this experiment. The Banque de France will proceed with its CBDC experimentation programme, which second tranche will be mainly dedicated to cross-border transactions.
14 December 2021 - DekaBank issues bearer bonds on the blockchain
DekaBank issued its first crypto securities, marking the start of its business activities to maintain a crypto securities register. The bearer bonds were issued via Deka's blockchain-based securities platform SWIAT. The buyers of the bonds are Bankhaus Metzler and Hauck & Aufhäuser.
A crypto security is a form of electronic security. Unlike traditional securities, a paper certificate is no longer required for issuance. Since the German electronic securities act (eWpG) came into force in June 2021, an entry in an electronic register has been sufficient. However, rights and obligations are identical for traditional and electronic securities. Crypto securities are entered in a decentralized manner in a blockchain-based crypto securities register. The central securities register is thus no longer required. The individual parties therefore enter into a direct exchange, mostly based on distributed ledger technology (DLT) without the involvement of a central securities depository.
8 December 2021 – BIS, Banque de France and SNB wholesale CBDC experiment, including issuance, transfer, and redemption of tokenised euro-denominated French commercial paper
Central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) can be used effectively for international settlements between financial institutions, as shown in the newest wholesale CBDC experiment concluded by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), the Bank of France (BdF) and the Swiss National Bank (SNB). The recently completed Project Jura explored settling foreign exchange (FX) transactions in euro and Swiss franc wholesale CBDCs as well as issuing, transferring and redeeming a tokenised euro-denominated French commercial paper between French and Swiss financial institutions.
Project Jura was conducted in collaboration with a group of private sector firms comprising Accenture, Credit Suisse, Natixis, R3, SIX Digital Exchange and UBS. It continues the experimentation conducted by the SNB and the BIS Innovation Hub under Project Helvetia and is part of a series of wholesale CBDC experiments initiated by the BdF in 2020.
6 December 2021 - Match On firstwire: Vasakronan Issues First DLT-Based Green Note
The Stockholm based real-estate company Vasakronan AB used the firstwire marketplace to self-arrange the first fully Digital Registered Green Note (“digitale Namensschuldverschreibung”) based on DLT in the European market, thereby pioneering a new format. The EUR 50 million issuance was placed directly with DekaBank on the firstwire marketplace in a straight through processed transaction. After the security token issuance by the DAX-listed German real estate company Vonovia SE earlier this year on firstwire, this Vasakronan transaction is another milestone for DLT debt issuance.
Investors and issuers use firstwire to transact with each other without the need for intermediaries. firstwire connected to DekaBank’s SWIAT (Secure Worldwide Interbank Asset Transfer) network to facilitate a broader range of digital settlement infrastructure to its clients. firstwire’s technology and smart matching algorithms allow issuers and investors to mutually transact within seconds.
Press Release: Firstwire enables Vasakronan and DekaBank to trade first DLT-based green note
18 November 2021 - SIX placed the first senior unsecured digital CHF bond with a total volume of CHF 150 million and maturity in 2026
SIX launches its SIX Digital Exchange by successfully issuing the world’s first digital bond in a fully regulated environment. The bond comprises two exchangeable parts. The digital part (Part A) of the bond will be listed and traded on SDX Trading Ltd and centrally held by SIX Digital Exchange Ltd. The traditional part (Part B) of the bond will be listed and traded on SIX Swiss Exchange Ltd and centrally held by SIX SIS Ltd. This innovative approach ensures the link between the digital and traditional worlds.
The digital part (Part A) of the bond accounts for CHF 100 million of the total issue volume. CHF 50 million was allocated to the traditional part of the bond (Part B). The coupon amounts to 0.125% per year, corresponding to a yield to maturity of 0.125%. Unless the bonds are repaid prematurely or acquired and canceled, they will be repaid at their nominal value on the due date. The company will use the net proceeds of the bond placed for general financing purposes of SIX.
28 April 2021 - EIB issues its digital bond on a public blockchain
On 27 April 2021, the EIB launched a digital bond issuance on a blockchain platform, deploying this distributed ledger technology for the registration and settlement of digital bonds, in collaboration with Goldman Sachs, Santander and Societe Generale. In a partnership with Banque de France, the payment of the issue monies from the underwriters to the EIB has been represented on the blockchain in the form of CBDC.
The EIB believes that the digitalisation of capital markets may bring benefits to market participants in the coming years, including a reduction of intermediaries and fixed costs, better market transparency through an increased capacity to see trading flows and identity asset owners, as well as a much faster settlement speed. Blockchain is a digital and distributed ledger of transactions using advanced cryptographic technics and the contribution of a network of participants to jointly validate the said transactions by blocks in an ordered and immutable sequence (hence the name ‘Blockchain’). This combination of features primarily aims at providing enhanced security and operational efficiency.
This transaction consists in the issuance by the EIB of a series of bond tokens on a blockchain, where investors purchase and pay for the security tokens using traditional fiat. The Joint Lead Managers will then settle the underwriting against the issuer using a representation of central money, the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). The principal is expected to be repaid in commercial fiat at maturity. The transaction will use Ethereum, a public blockchain protocol.
15 April 2021 - Societe Generale issues structured product on public blockchain
On 15 April 2021, Societe Generale issued the first structured product (Autocall, Euro Medium Term Notes (EMTN), EUR 5m) as a Security Token directly registered on the Tezos public blockchain. The securities were fully subscribed by Societe Generale Assurances. This operation follows in the footsteps of a first covered bond Security Token issuance worth EUR 100m on the Ethereum blockchain, settled in euros in April 2019, and of a second covered bond Security Token issuance worth EUR 40m this time settled in Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) issued by Banque de France, in May 2020. This transaction completes a new step in the development of Societe Generale – Forge, a regulated subsidiary of Societe Generale Group, aiming at offering by 2022 crypto assets structuring, issuing, exchange and custody services to the Group’s professional clients.
This new experimentation, performed in accordance with best market practices, demonstrates the legal, regulatory and operational feasibility of issuing more complex financial instruments (structured products) on public blockchain. It leverages on this disruptive technology which enables increased efficiency and fluidity of financial transactions: unprecedented capacity of product structuration, shortened time-to-market, automated corporate actions, increased transparency and speed in transactions and settlements, as well as reduced cost and number of intermediaries. Societe Generale – Forge innovative operating model enables Security Tokens to be directly integrated to conventional banking systems interfaced with SWIFT format.
13 January 2021 - Vonovia issues First Fully Digital Note via Online Marketplace firstwire
Vonovia is further expanding the digitalization of its finance division. The residential real estate company issued a fully digital registered bond of € 20 million for the first time. It has a term of three years. Security tokens following the strictest security standards were used for the transfer of ownership of the bond. The transfer of ownership rights of real assets take place on the established Stellar blockchain, which is used for transactions around the globe.
The transaction is a novelty on the capital market – Vonovia created the tokens independently using the online marketplace firstwire. Vonovia had already used the platform, which brings issuers and investors together directly and in real time, to place a promissory note of € 50 million in September 2019.
Independent private bank M.M. Warburg & CO has become the exclusive investor in an innovative digital note transaction using blockchain.
7 December 2020 - UnionBank, Standard Chartered pioneer blockchain-enabled bond issuance in the Philippines
Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank), in partnership with Standard Chartered Bank (SCB), successfully completed a proof of concept for the issuance of a retail bond on a digital platform leveraging blockchain technology for bond tokenization.
The 3 and 5.25-year dual tranche issuance totalling PHP 9 billion by UnionBank was successfully mirrored on the platform co-created by UnionBank and SC Ventures, the innovation and ventures arm of Standard Chartered. Orders received were tokenized, and to stay within existing retail bond guidelines, tokens issued mirrored the traditional transaction but were not allocated directly to investors. SC Ventures built the bond tokenisation platform making the process simpler, faster and widely accessible.
The success of this proof of concept will open up a host of possibilities around solving for liquidity and transparency in the retail bond markets. The Online Bond Reservation portal of UnionBank where the bonds were made available is also the Philippines’ first digitally enabled platform allowing clients to view and place order reservations for corporate bond offerings conveniently anytime, anywhere -making a highly cumbersome and manual process simpler and more widely accessible. Through the portal, UnionBank clients experience a fully digital end-to-end service, from account verification, client suitability assessment and the filling up of the application to purchase form, up to allocation to the investor. The portal also makes the purchase of bonds completely paperless and more efficient as it cuts the processing time for customers from a couple of days to mere minutes.
11/12 November 2020 - Statements by Fusang Exchange and China Construction Bank Corporation Labuan Branch
Per the request of the issuer, Longbond Ltd., the listing of Longbond SR Notes USD Feb 2021 will be delayed until further notice.
China Construction Bank Corporation Labuan Branch (“the Branch”) would like to state that the press coverage on the first block chain based bond (“the Bond”) is as follows:
- the Branch is NOT the issuer of the Bond.
- the role of the Branch is as the Lead Arranger, Listing Advisor of the Bond, and the Facility Agent to facilitate clearing and settlement of the Bond in USDs.
- the Branch does NOT accept cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin for settlement in any of its banking transactions.
11 November 2020 - CCB and FUSANG Exchange take lead to bring to market the first blockchain-based digital bond accessible to global investors
China Construction Bank Corporation Labuan Branch (“CCB Labuan”), a tier-1 branch of Beijing-headquartered China Construction Bank Corporation (“CCB”), will be the lead arranger for the first publicly listed debt security on a blockchain, to be tradeable on FUSANG Exchange. The bond, Longbond SR Notes (“LBFEB21”), will be issued by Longbond Ltd., a securitisation Special Purpose Vehicle (“SPV”) set up with the sole purpose of issuing digital bonds and depositing the proceeds with CCB Labuan. CCB Labuan will act as the lead arranger and listing sponsor for the deal.
This “Longbond” represents the first digital security to be listed on a public stock exchange that is directly accessible by retail investors. […] The bond will give investors access to bank-secured deposits at an annualised rate of LIBOR +50bps (~0.70%), considerably higher than market interest rates for typical fixed deposits. It represents direct, unconditional, unsubordinated, and fully secured obligations that are ultimately backed by the balance sheet of the world’s second-largest bank. It will be issued at a discount and can be traded on FUSANG Exchange prior to maturity, in USD and Bitcoin (“BTC”), with a total program target size of USD 3 billion.
11 September 2020 - Bank of Thailand launches new Government Bond Infrastructure with Blockchain Technology
The Bank of Thailand (BOT) successfully launched a new platform leveraging Blockchain Technology for Government Savings Bond issuance. It aims to enhance investors’ buying experience, improve operational efficiency and reduce overall cost. Fifty billion baht of government savings bonds have been sold out in a week.
DLT Scripless Bond Project has applied Blockchain Technology to develop a secure and efficient government bond infrastructure. It is a collaborative effort among eight institutions, which are BOT, Public Debt Management Office, Thailand Securities Depository Co., Ltd, Thai Bond Market Association and selling-agent banks, including Bangkok Bank, Krungthai Bank, Kasikorn Bank, and Siam Commercial Bank.
In the next phase, the infrastructure will expand to support all different government bonds, both retail and wholesale, to fully served demand of all stakeholders.
14 May 2020 - Societe Generale performs the first financial transaction settled with a Central Bank Digital Currency
Societe Generale SFH, the covered bond vehicle of Societe Generale, issued €40 million of covered bonds (“obligations de financement de l’habitat” or “OFH”)) as security tokens directly registered on a public blockchain. Rated Aaa by Moody's and AAA by Fitch, these OFH Tokens were fully subscribed by Societe Generale which simultaneously paid the issuer in a digital form of euros issued by Banque de France through a blockchain platform. The experimentation was performed end-to-end using blockchain infrastructures, in accordance with best market practices. It demonstrates the feasibility of financial securities being digitally settled and delivered in Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) for interbank settlements.
The transaction follows in the footsteps of an initial issue worth €100 million in security tokens by Societe Generale SFH on 18 April 2019, which was settled in the traditional manner in euros. It seals a new stage in the development of Societe Generale Forge platform, aimed at promoting new blockchain-based market activities.
12 September 2019 - Santander launches the first end-to-end blockchain bond
Banco Santander today announced that it has issued the first end-to-end blockchain bond. The bank issued the bond directly onto the blockchain and the bond will also continue to exist only on the blockchain: a first step towards a potential secondary market for mainstream security tokens in the future. Banco Santander is itself the issuer of the $20 million bond, while one of the Group’s units purchased the bond at market price. The bond carries a quarterly coupon of 1,98%. Santander Securities Services is acting as tokenization agent and custodian of the cryptographic keys. […]
Santander used the public Ethereum blockchain, one of the more advanced open source blockchain technologies. This allows Santander to achieve the milestone of tokenizing the bond securely and registering it in a permissioned manner on the blockchain. The cash used to complete the investment (on-chain delivery-versus-payment) and the quarterly coupons have also been tokenised, i.e., represented digitally on the blockchain. Thanks to this automation, the one-year maturity bond has reduced the number of intermediaries required in the process, making the transaction faster, more efficient and simpler.
16 August 2019 - Bond-i tap – managed by CBA, RBC and TD – increases liquidity of Blockchain Bond and broadens market participation
The World Bank (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, IBRD rated Aaa/AAA) has raised an additional AUD 50 million for its Kangaroo bond due August 2020 - the first bond created, allocated, transferred and managed through its life-cycle using distributed ledger (blockchain) technology.
The successful tap expands market participation with the Bond-i platform combining three joint lead managers, Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), RBC Capital Markets (RBC) and TD Securities (TD), and brings together new market participants, including an offshore investor, and the exisiting investor community including ongoing support and input from TCorp (NSW Treasury Corporation).
11 July 2019 - YES BANK implements Asia’s First Commercial Paper Issuance on Blockchain
YES BANK, India’s fourth largest private sector bank, as an issuing and paying agent (IPA), facilitated the issuance of a Commercial Paper (CP) of INR 100 Crores [approx. USD 15m] using Blockchain technology for Vedanta Limited, a natural resources conglomerate. This is the first time in Asia that a CP has been digitally issued using Blockchain technology. The digital solution ensures an efficient, transparent and secure mechanism for CP issuance and redemption. This transaction was completed in partnership with MonetaGo, a leading provider of financial technology headquartered in New York, USA. MonetaGo built the solution using Corda Enterprise, technology provided by R3, a leading enterprise Blockchain software firm.
As part of the business solutioning, the stakeholders in the CP issuance and redemption benefit from: Reduction in Turnaround Time (TAT) for issuance and redemption; Immutable digital records of the entire transaction documents thereby reducing operational risk; Real-time Visibility of the CP issuance and redemption; Common Network for all participants in the CP issuance and redemption process.
19 June 2019 - EIB, Euroclear, Banco Santander & EY developing blockchain solution for the issuance and settlement of ECPs
European Investment Bank (EIB), Euroclear, Banco Santander, and EY have worked together on an end-to-end blockchain solution for the issuance and settlement of European Commercial Paper (ECP).
The proposed blockchain solution will reduce time-consuming bilateral processing between multiple market participants, providing one efficient consolidated hub for the issuing of ECP with DVP settlement by Euroclear. Other key benefits of this blockchain solution would be full transparency and traceability of ECP issuance related activities; a reduction in operational costs and true time optimisation, making ECP same day issuance, a new market standard. […] Based on the initiative’s success, Euroclear intends to move on to pilot phase soon. Other ECP issuance institutions have expressed interest and will be invited to participate in the pilot phase.
18 April 2019 - Societe Generale issued the first covered bond as a security token on a public blockchain
Societe Generale SFH, a subsidiary of Societe Generale Group, issued EUR 100m of covered bonds (“obligations de financement de l’habitat” or “OFH”) as a security token, directly registered on the Ethereum blockchain. OFH Tokens have been rated Aaa / AAA by Moody’s and Fitch and have been fully subscribed by Societe Generale. This operation is the first pilot project developed by Societe Generale and Societe Generale FORGE, one of the 60 internal startups launched via the Internal Startup Call, the Group’s intrapreneurial programme. This startup experiments disruptive business solutions using blockchain technology to develop new digital capital market activities.
This live transaction explores a more efficient process for bond issuances. Many areas of added value are predicted, among which, product scalability and reduced time to market, computer code automation structuring, thus better transparency, faster transferability and settlement. It proposes a new standard for issuances and secondary market bond trading and reduces cost and the number of intermediaries.
21 February 2019 - Continental, Commerzbank and Siemens Successfully Field-Tested Blockchain Technology on Money Market
For the first time, Continental, Commerzbank and Siemens have carried out a test transaction as part of a pilot project to process a money market security between the companies using blockchain technology. The transaction took place in January. It had a volume of €100,000 and a term of three days. Continental was the issuer of the money market security, which was in the form of a euro-denominated electronic commercial paper according to legal requirements stipulated in the Luxembourg law. Commerzbank provided the Corda-based blockchain platform through its research and development unit, Main Incubator, and acted as a service partner. Siemens subscribed to the money market security as an investor. Corporate law firm GSK Stockmann provided legal advice on the transaction.
[…] In this pilot project, the transaction was initiated and settled directly between the two companies. A regular securities transaction between two companies was used as a starting point. The companies not only generated the money market security, but also processed the trade (including payment processing) in a legally binding manner using blockchain. The documents and funds were exchanged in a matter of minutes rather than days using this process. Unlike with conventional transactions, Commerzbank was no longer acting as a broker between contracting parties for this particular transaction, but as a platform operator and service partner. It provided the platform and all the technical requirements for blockchain trading, the legal structure and the digital money for direct trading of the money market security (based on e-money as financial collateral, “cash on ledger”).
19 February 2019 - BBVA issues the first blockchain-supported structured green bond for MAPFRE
BBVA Group issued the first structured green bond using blockchain technology to negotiate the terms and conditions. It is a private placement in which MAPFRE invested €35 million six year term bond linked to the evolution of the five year euro swap rate. With this bond issue, the BBVA Group demonstrates that it has the means, knowledge, and commitment to provide its clients cutting-edge products based on the latest technologies and innovative sustainable solutions.[…]
The use of this platform offers the following advantages throughout the process:
It allows all participants to have access to the transaction. Distributed ledger technology reduces issuing time and ensures that negotiations and agreements reached are traceable and immutable. These features of traceability and immutability make it easier to demonstrate compliance with relevant regulations.
The platform allows the client to choose between numerous product configuration options. This feature provides the client considerable flexibility in terms of designing the bond that best suits their needs. […]
2 October 2018 - Start of blockchain application for Austrian government bond auctions
For the first time ever Oesterreichische Kontrollbank AG (OeKB) is going live with a blockchain technology based application. The new technology is used for data notarization for reports from the 2 October government bond auction onwards. This notarization service provides a trail to verify the authenticity of data, thereby ensuring the greatest possible degree of data security. Notarization is a new additional support element for the auction process. Blockchain technology is used in this particular case as an additional layer of security.
Blockchain-based data notarization involves using an encryption method for documents to derive a unique electronic fingerprint, known as the hash. This hash is unambiguously assignable to the original document, but conversely does not allow conclusions to specific data content. "This means the original document can be stored securely in OeKB’s computing centres, and the authenticity of the document can be guaranteed. The blockchain implementation enables OeKB to integrate a further level of security based on blockchain in addition to the already existing high standards of security," explains Angelika Sommer-Hemetsberger.
23/24 August 2018 - World Bank Prices First Global Blockchain Bond, Raising A$110 Million
The World Bank launched bond-i (blockchain operated new debt instrument), the world’s first bond to be created, allocated, transferred and managed through its life cycle using distributed ledger technology. The two-year bond [with a 2.20% coupon] raised A$110 million, marking the first time that investors have supported the World Bank’s development activities in a transaction that is fully managed using the blockchain technology.
The World Bank mandated Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) as arranger for the bond on August 10. The announcement was followed by a two-week consultation period with the market, with key investors indicating strong support for the issuance. […] Investors in the bond include CBA, First State Super, NSW Treasury Corporation, Northern Trust, QBE, SAFA, and Treasury Corporation of Victoria.
15 August 2018 - BMO Capital Markets Launches First-of-its-Kind Blockchain Pilot to Mirror Canadian Dollar Fixed Income Issuance Transaction with Ontario Teachers'
The transaction included Bank of Montreal as the issuer and Ontario Teachers' as the buyer of a CDN$250MM 1-year floating rate Deposit Note, making it the first Canadian dollar fixed income issuance demonstrating the viability of blockchain platforms.
The pilot transaction – booked as a traditional Canadian Depository for Securities (CDS) issuance and successfully paralleled through the blockchain – was conducted to demonstrate how smart contracts and blockchain could be used for fixed income markets.
9/10 August 2018 - World Bank Mandates Commonwealth Bank of Australia for World’s First Blockchain Bond
The $AUD Kangaroo bond, termed ‘bond-i’ - Blockchain Offered New Debt Instrument – has been developed with the support and input of the investor community including Northern Trust, QBE and Treasury Corporation of Victoria. Once launched the bond will be issued and distributed on a blockchain platform operated by the World Bank and CBA in Washington and Sydney, respectively.
Indicative investor interest in bond-i (blockchain operated new debt instrument) has been strong. The World Bank and CBA expect to launch the transaction following a period of consultation with a broader set of investors.
20 April 2018 - National Bank of Canada (NBC) and J.P. Morgan test blockchain technology with NBC debt issuance in the US Financial Markets
J.P. Morgan has tested a new blockchain platform for issuing financial instruments with the National Bank of Canada and other large firms. The firm is seeking to streamline origination, settlement, interest rate payments and other processes.
The Canadian bank issued a $150m one-year floating-rate Yankee certificate of deposit, with a parallel simulation of the issuance, using blockchain technology. The blockchain test involved the parties mirroring the execution of the actual transaction through a debt issuance application developed by J.P. Morgan that runs on Quorum®, an open-sourced variant of the Ethereum blockchain, specifically designed to meet the needs of financial markets participants.
28 February 2018 - Telefónica Deutschland raises EUR 250 million in Schuldschein transaction including a blockchain tranche [English translation]
Telefónica Deutschland Holding AG has raised EUR 250 million through a Schuldschein issuance marketed by Landesbank Baden-Württemberg (LBBW) and DZ BANK AG. The initial target volume was exceeded by EUR 50 million. A tranche exclusively offered through LBBW, based entirely on blockchain technology, was three times oversubscribed. It was the first time that a two-digit number of investors linked up to the blockchain.
In light of strong demand, the size of the blockchain tranche was increased from EUR 50 million to EUR 75 million. Investors comprised CaixaBank S.A., Hamburger Sparkasse AG, Kreissparkassen Esslingen- Nürtingen and Ludwigsburg, LBBW, Stadtsparkasse Düsseldorf and Sparkassen Hegau-Bodensee, Hochfranken, Karlsruhe, Pforzheim-Calw, Vorderpfalz and Deutsche Postbank AG.
The regulatory requirements for a Schuldschein were met in parallel to the blockchain transaction. The tranche has a maturity of one year […].
22 November 2017 - Nivaura executes world’s first automated cryptocurrency bond issuance supported by Allen & Overy
The world’s first fully automated cryptocurrency-denominated bond issuance that is also cleared, settled and registered on a public blockchain infrastructure was successfully completed today by Nivaura, a fintech company that has developed a cloud-based service for the issuance and administration of financial instruments by small and medium-sized issuers.
The Nivaura platform enables the issuance and administration of legally enforceable financial instruments at significantly lower cost than current channels. LuxDeco, an online retailer of luxury furniture and home decor accessories, issued ether-denominated bonds which were structured, executed and will be administered through the Nivaura platform. The transaction took place in Fuse – a tech innovation space based in Allen & Overy’s London offices – and was part of the Financial Conduct Authority’s regulatory sandbox, which allows businesses to test innovative products, services, business models and delivery mechanisms in the real market, with real consumers.
25 September 2017 - Commerzbank, KfW and MEAG simulate security transaction via Blockchain
Commerzbank, KfW Banking Group and MEAG, the asset manager of Munich Re and ERGO, have jointly traded a Euro Commercial Paper (ECP) issued by KfW, and simultaneously replicated the transaction in a Blockchain. […] The security was sold to MEAG, and settled without a paying agent or a clearing system. This pilot transaction comprised a EUR 100,000 issuance volume with a five-day term.
In parallel to issuance and settlement, key transaction elements were replicated and simulated by means of distributed ledger technology, using the R3 Corda platform. For this purpose, the standard number of required intermediaries was reduced, this allowed for an immediate posting. In parallel a real-time replication of the transaction was done using distributed ledger technology.
28 June 2017 - Daimler and LBBW successfully utilize blockchain technology for launch of corporate Schuldschein
Daimler and LBBW successfully tested this innovative technology for capital markets in parallel with the process that is required by regulatory authorities. Through LBBW, Daimler launched a €100 million 1 year corporate Schuldschein within which savings banks (Kreissparkasse) Esslingen-Nürtingen, Ludwigsburg and Ostalb as well as LBBW acted as lenders. The entire transaction — from the origination, distribution, allocation and execution of the Schuldschein loan agreement to the confirmation of repayment and of interest payments — was digitally carried out via blockchain technology in cooperation with the IT subsidiaries TSS (Daimler) and Targens (LBBW).
25 January 2017 - Commonwealth Bank and QTC create first government bond using blockchain
The transaction marks the first trial of Commonwealth Bank’s private, permissioned blockchain platform for the end-to-end issuance of bonds.
Queensland Treasury Corporation (QTC) successfully used the blockchain to generate a bond tender, view investor bids in real time, finalise investment allocation and settle instantly with investors. QTC acted in both the issuer and investor role to test the end-to-end process for the issuance.
The QTC bond was created in digital form using smart contract technology, and has the ability to automatically pay coupons to the current holder when due. The bond is a working prototype, is not tradable and does not carry any debt obligation.
Director, Market Practice and Regulatory Policy
Direct line: +44 20 7213 0334
Associate, Market Practice and Regulatory Policy
Direct line: +44 20 7213 0317
9 February 2022 - Charles River and LedgerEdge announced collaboration to provide DLT-enabled corporate bond liquidity and trading services
Charles River Development, a State Street Company, announced a collaboration with LedgerEdge to provide investment firms with access to corporate bond liquidity from the LedgerEdge ecosystem via the Charles River Inventory Hub and Order and Execution Management System (OEMS). LedgerEdge leverages distributed ledger technology (DLT) to modernize institutional-grade trading services and protocols in the $41 trillion global corporate bond market. Clients exercise full control of their data while gaining greater clarity into available liquidity, counterparties and execution quality. Charles River’s Inventory Hub delivers an aggregated, venue and dealer agnostic view of liquidity that helps firms reduce execution costs and facilitate price discovery. Traders can view inventory in the OEMS, receive updated indications of interest and quotes, and place orders for a full range of products.
9 December 2021 - AXA IM completes first market transaction registered on Blockchain technology with Société Générale
AXA Investment Managers (AXA IM), in collaboration with Société Générale-Forge, announces that it has completed its first market transaction based on blockchain infrastructure.
Through its Fixed Income platform, AXA IM has purchased from Société Générale €3 million of “unsecured” bonds issued by the European Investment Bank (EIB) in the form of “security tokens” on the public blockchain Ethereum, on behalf of AXA France.
5 November 2020 - FSC authorises group buy platform for bonds in regulatory sandbox experiment
The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) approved the application by Joinvest Co. to begin a group buy platform experiment in the regulatory sandbox for one year. The experiment shall be limited to an approved range of items and time period, and are not bound by legal provisions listed in Subparagraph 6, Article 26 of the Financial Technology Development and Innovative Experimentation Act. In addition, the FSC has also agreed that Article 23-1 of the Regulations Governing the Scope of Business, Restrictions on Transfer of Beneficiary Rights, Risk Disclosure, Marketing, and Conclusion of Contract by Trust Enterprises is not applicable to the experiment during the period authorized. This has been the first approved financial technology innovation experiment since the FSC published the FinTech Development Roadmap on August 27, 2020.
The FSC indicated that Joinvest, after completing an counseling process, submitted its application on July 9, 2020, and is the second startup team in the FinTech Space that has received approval to take part in a sandbox experiment. The company employs technology innovation in its securities brokerage and proprietary businesses, which mainly focus on platform services that provide group buying of local and foreign bonds. The company uses blockchain technology to record all transaction data, and it also uses trust services provided by the First Bank to protect investors. Bonds generate higher yields than time deposits, and are still relatively safe. However, the investment threshold is high, so the experiment aims to enable retail investors to invest in bonds for only NT$ 100 or USD 10. The design will satisfy the need of ordinary investors to hold bonds under the current low-interest environment. Moreover, the transactions will be executed completely online, which is in line with the current trend on digital finance and promotion of financial inclusion.
14 October 2020 - BondEvalue Gets MAS Approval to Operate The BondbloX Bond Exchange
Singapore-based fintech BondEvalue has been approved as a Recognised Market Operator (RMO) by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). It operates BondbloX Bond Exchange (BBX), the world’s first blockchain-based bond exchange, and aims to bring trading of a wide range of fixed-income securities to the mass market across the region.
BondEvalue officially graduated from the MAS’ regulatory sandbox on 1 October 2020. The move means that BondEvalue has successfully concluded proof of technology and business model. It is now no longer bound by restrictions such as limits on trading volume and disclosures specific to the sandbox model.
12 August 2020 - Singapore fintech BondEvalue brings bond trading to masses with BondbloX, world’s first blockchain-based bond exchange; goes live with first trade
Singapore fintech BondEvalue launched BondbloX Bond Exchange (BBX), the first blockchain-based exchange that makes possible fractional ownership of bonds by allowing them to be traded in smaller denominations of US$1,000. This paves the way for many more investors to buy and sell bonds, making bond trading much faster, highly transparent and at lower cost. In Asia and Europe, bond trading is traditionally the preserve of affluent individuals, institutions and corporations as they are typically traded in unit size US$200,000 in the secondary market. Trading is also carried out over the counter (by phone) making for an opaque process and pricing.
Settlement on BBX is on a T+0 basis, that is within seconds instead of the normal two-day settlement cycle, thereby reducing counterparty settlement risks for investors. Investors around the world can trade on BBX via web and mobile devices by opening an account with their banks, wealth managers, family offices or robo-advisors, subject to individual country restrictions on bond trading. In Singapore, BBX is open to accredited and institutional investors.
The first trade was between a Singapore citizen and a buyer who is a Singapore permanent resident. The transaction was for US$8,000 of BondbloX representing the underlying Olam 4.375% bond maturing 2023 at a price of 100.25%, executed through Taurus Wealth Advisors, the first member of BBX. BondEvalue said it has signed up one of Singapore’s largest brokerages, UOB Kay Hian, as its Initial Launch Partner, US’ Northern Trust as Designated Custodian and multi-family Office Taurus Wealth Advisors, as one of the first members of the exchange. More partners are in the pipeline and will be onboarded in the coming months.
4 November 2019 - BondEvalue Unveils BondbloX – World’s First Blockchain-Based Bond Exchange
Singapore based BondEvalue today announced that it has been approved to enter the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s (MAS) Sandbox Express to launch a blockchain-based bond exchange. The platform will offer a unique proposition to reduce the minimum investment amount of bonds to US$1,000 via BondbloX. BondbloX is a fraction of a conventional US$200,000 bond wherein each BondbloX has a denomination of US$1,000.
The platform connects to banks, wealth managers and robo-advisors across the world, allowing their customers (limited to accredited investors in Singapore) to trade BondbloX. BondEvalue’s bond exchange is built on Hyperledger Sawtooth – a modular platform for building, deploying and running distributed ledgers.
23 October 2019 - Commerzbank, Deutsche Börse and MEAG to reach further step in post-trade services using distributed ledger technology
Commerzbank, Deutsche Börse and MEAG, the Asset Manager of Munich Re and ERGO, have reached a further step in examining the scope of distributed ledger technology in post-trade services. The partners successfully completed the settlement of a legally binding secondary market securities transaction via tokens; Commerzbank further used the tokenized cash as collateral at Eurex Clearing as Central Counterparty. The prototype scenario reflected a delivery-versus-payment transaction and the transfer of tokenized cash, aiming on exploring the potential of various comprehensive services leveraging distributed ledger technology.
For this transaction, digital tokens were generated using both commercial bank money (cash tokens) and securities (securities tokens). The simultaneous swap of the tokens as final and binding settlement was enabled by using distributed ledger technology. As a further use case for cash tokens, Commerzbank provided the tokenized cash credits for coverage of margin requirements to Eurex Clearing as Central Counterparty as part of their operative risk management. Eurex Clearing acted as tokenizer of cash, MEAG as the buyer of securities and Commerzbank as the seller and the custodian of the securities tokens. Main incubator, Commerzbank’s research and development unit, provided the blockchain platform.
23 September 2019 - SIX Digital Exchange launches DLT-based trading and settlement prototype
SDX, the world’s first end-to-end platform for digital assets, has launched a prototype of its digital exchange and CSD. Future releases will offer more functionality, with a particular emphasis on asset servicing, in Q1 2020. The full launch is expected in Q4 2020. The objective of the prototype is to showcase the future of financial markets to the community and obtain feedback as well as demonstrate that a distributed CSD – based on DLT – can be integrated with a central order-book stock exchange model to ensure fair market conditions for all.
Test-cases will showcase the potential of SDX’s riskless trading model, as well as settlement on DLT. Early stage functionality will cover digital security token issuance as well as live trading and instant settlement. This will include the cash-leg of the transaction embracing the concept of a payment token as well as access to a distributed portal where it would be possible to monitor transactions across specific DLT member nodes.
15 May 2019 - World Bank and CBA Partner to enable Secondary Bond Trading recorded on Blockchain
The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (World Bank) and Commonwealth Bank (CBA) have enabled secondary market trading recorded on blockchain for bond-i (blockchain operated new debt instrument), making this the first bond whose issuance and trading are recorded using distributed ledger technologies.
The successful completion of a secondary transaction with trading activity recorded on a distributed ledger illustrates the vast potential to enhance the co-ordination of securities trading and management on blockchain – delivering a verified, permanent record and instant reconciliation. The functionality was developed by CBA in conjunction with World Bank and market maker TD Securities. The World Bank issued bond-i in August 2018, which was the world’s first bond to be created, allocated, transferred and managed through its life cycle using distributed ledger technology. CBA was the sole arranger for the bond.
11 April 2019 - TCS Powers World’s First Cross-Border Securities Settlement between Two Central Depositories using Quartz Blockchain
Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), (BSE: 532540, NSE: TCS), a leading IT services, consulting and business solutions organization, has announced the world’s first successful cross-border securities settlement between two central securities depositories (CSDs) – Maroclear, the CSD of Morocco, and Kuwait Clearing Company, the CSD of Kuwait – using cash coins on the BaNCS Network, powered by Quartz Blockchain. […]
In tests run by the two CSDs, a set of equities and fixed income securities from both the Kuwaiti and Moroccan markets were created on the BaNCS Network implemented on Quartz Blockchain, along with segregated accounts to hold these securities. The cross-border settlement instructions for these securities were matched and settled instantaneously on the blockchain ledger using Quartz’s Smart Solution for Cross-Border Settlements. The associated notifications on the status of transactions were published on the BaNCS Network and instantaneously made available to the respective CSDs. These transactions were settled using cash coins held in the Quartz Blockchain in a true delivery versus payment (DVP) settlement model.
11 March 2019 - Deutsche Börse, Swisscom and Sygnum enter into strategic partnership to build a trusted digital asset ecosystem
Deutsche Börse Group, one of the world’s largest market infrastructure providers, Swisscom, the leading Swiss Information and Communication Technology (ICT) company and one of its leading IT service providers, and Sygnum, a Swiss and Singapore-based financial technology company in the regulatory process to obtain a Swiss banking and securities dealer license, have entered into a strategic partnership. The aim of this cooperation is to jointly build out and grow a trusted and regulatory compliant financial market infrastructure for digital assets.
The tokenization of assets, the next major phase of asset digitization, has the potential to reshape global financial markets. In order to fully unfold its potential, the emerging tokenized economy needs a trusted, comprehensive and regulatory compliant ecosystem. This integrated ecosystem around digital assets, developed by strong and experienced partners, will enable investors to tap into these new asset classes and accommodate to future client needs. The core elements of the solution will include issuance, custody, access to liquidity, and banking services – all leveraging Distributed-Ledger-Technology (DLT) in a regulatory compliant environment. […]
The first products and services provided by the new ecosystem for digital assets are expected to be launched in the course of 2019.
12 December 2018 - solarisBank supports Boerse Stuttgart Group in the development of the trading system for its crypto trading venue
As a technology and banking partner, solarisBank supports Boerse Stuttgart Group in creating an end-to-end infrastructure for digital assets. Together with solarisBank, Boerse Stuttgart Group is developing the trading system for its crypto trading venue, which is set to launch in the first half of 2019. In addition, solarisBank will provide the required crypto trading banking services to Boerse Stuttgart Group.
To begin with, established crypto currencies such as Bitcoin or Ethereum will be available for trading on Boerse Stuttgart Group’s trading venue. Once the ICO platform of Boerse Stuttgart Group, which is currently being developed, has gone live, tokens issued there will also be available for trading in the secondary market. The crypto trading venue is open to both private and institutional investors and facilitates order opportunities comparable to securities trading. Open order books provide information about existing orders and the current market situation at all times. Investors’ orders are executed according to fixed rules. Regulation as a multilateral trading facility (MTF) is being sought for the crypto trading venue.
11 November 2018 – MAS and SGX successfully leverage blockchain technology for settlement of tokenised assets
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and Singapore Exchange (SGX) have successfully developed Delivery versus Payment (DvP) capabilities for the settlement of tokenised assets across different blockchain platforms. This will help simplify post-trade processes and further shorten settlement cycles.
The DvP prototypes, developed with technology partners Anquan, Deloitte and Nasdaq, demonstrated that financial institutions and corporate investors are able to carry out the simultaneous exchange and final settlement of tokenised digital currencies and securities assets on different blockchain platforms. The ability to perform these activities simultaneously improves operational efficiency and reduces settlement risks. The collaboration also demonstrated that DvP settlement finality, interledger interoperability and investor protection can be achieved through specific solutions designed and built on blockchain technology. Following its conclusion, MAS and SGX have jointly published an industry report, which provides a comprehensive view of automating DvP settlement processes with Smart Contracts.
6 November 2018 – DTCC Enters Test Phase on Distributed Ledger Project for Credit Derivatives with MarkitSERV & 15 Leading Global Banks
The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC), the premier post-trade market infrastructure for the global financial services industry, today announced that it has advanced to the testing phase of its ground-breaking project to re-platform its credit derivatives Trade Information Warehouse (TIW) on distributed ledger technology (DLT) and cloud.
In this phase, 15 of the world’s largest global banks are conducting end-to-end, structured user acceptance tests, leveraging simulated use cases and test data and validating the interaction between systems, firms and other key market infrastructure providers, including MarkitSERV and its new platform for credit, TradeServ. Upon successful completion, DTCC expects to move to an “open” testing phase by the end of the year, when other market participants and service providers will have the opportunity to test. Testing is anticipated to be completed by Q1 2019 with go live scheduled thereafter.
25 October 2018 - Deutsche Bundesbank and Deutsche Börse successfully complete tests for blockchain prototypes
Deutsche Bundesbank and Deutsche Börse have successfully completed the performance tests of their jointly specified prototypes for securities settlement based on blockchain technology. The prototypes support the settlement of securities transactions, payments, interest payments and repayments at the maturity of a bond. It was developed on both Hyperledger Fabric (version 1.0) and the Digital Asset Platform and subjected to demanding performance tests.
The blockchain-based prototypes are a result of a collaborative research project between Deutsche Börse and the Deutsche Bundesbank to undertake blockchain based settlement technology research (in short: BLOCKBASTER). You can find the essential results of the project in the joint publication "BLOCKBASTER, Final Report“.
24 October 2018 - TCS Successfully Tests Blockchain-based Trade Settlements for Canadian Depository
Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), (BSE: 532540, NSE: TCS), a leading IT services, consulting and business solutions organization has announced the successful completion of a Proof of Concept (PoC) around a blockchain-based non-exchange trade settlement using TCS’ Quartz Blockchain Solution. Developed in collaboration with the Canadian Depository for Securities (CDS), a wholly-owned subsidiary of TMX Group, the PoC is part of a large market infrastructure transformation program leveraging TCS BaNCS for Market Infrastructure, aimed at the modernization of depository, clearing and settlement services in Canada.
The PoC helped demonstrate how Delivery versus Payment (DVP) trade settlement can be completed using tokenized assets held on the Quartz blockchain ledger. It used a unique co-existent architecture comprising conventional and blockchain technologies, leveraging TCS’ Quartz Blockchain Solution’s support for co-existence and a choice of messaging standards, including ISO/FIX/FIXML etc, for data exchange with the ledger. In addition, it can be extended in the future to support interoperability with external blockchain networks, such as for cash settlement.
24 August 2018 - MAS and SGX partner Anquan, Deloitte and Nasdaq to harness blockchain technology for settlement of tokenised assets
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and Singapore Exchange (SGX) today announced a collaboration to develop Delivery versus Payment (DvP) capabilities for settlement of tokenised assets across different blockchain platforms. This will allow financial institutions and corporate investors to carry out simultaneous exchange and final settlement of tokenised digital currencies and securities assets, improving operational efficiency and reducing settlement risks.
Three companies, Anquan, Deloitte and Nasdaq have been appointed as technology partners for this project. They will leverage on the open-source software developed and made publicly available in Project Ubin Phase 2. The project will produce a report that examines the potential of automating DvP settlement processes with Smart Contracts and identify key design considerations to ensure resilient operations and enhanced protection for investors. The report will be released by November 2018.
2 August 2018 - Boerse Stuttgart Group creates end-to-end infrastructure for digital assets
Boerse Stuttgart Group is creating an end-to-end infrastructure for digital assets. After the start of cryptocurrency trading via BISON, there will soon be a platform for initial coin offerings (ICOs), a multilateral trading venue for cryptocurrencies as well as solutions for safe custody. Boerse Stuttgart Group thus continues to pursue its digitisation strategy and is becoming a pioneer for the digital transformation of financial markets and financial products.[…]
After the launch of BISON in the autumn, Boerse Stuttgart Group will be extending its activities to the primary and secondary markets. An ICO platform will allow the issuance of digital tokens, for corporate financing or to represent rights and assets, for instance. The platform will also make it possible to carry out ICOs with standardised and transparent processes.
6 July 2018 - SIX to launch full end-to-end and fully integrated digital asset trading, settlement and custody service
Switzerland's stock exchange - owned and managed by SIX - announced that it is building a fully integrated trading, settlement and custody infrastructure for digital assets. SIX is fully regulated as an operator of Financial Market Infrastructure (FMI) by Swiss Authorities, FINMA and the Swiss National Bank, and intends that the planned 'digital asset ecosystem' - SIX Digital Exchange ("SDX") - will enjoy the same standard of oversight and regulation. […]
SIX Digital Exchange will be the first market infrastructure in the world to offer a fully integrated end to end trading, settlement and custody service for digital assets. The service will provide a safe environment for issuing and trading digital assets, and enable the tokenization of existing securities and non-bankable assets to make previously untradeable assets tradeable.
Director, Market Practice and Regulatory Policy
Direct line: +44 20 7213 0334
Associate, Market Practice and Regulatory Policy
Direct line: +44 20 7213 0317
16 May 2022 - BNP Paribas trades intraday repo on J.P. Morgan’s Onyx Digital Assets platform
The benefit of using ODA as opposed to trading in the traditional repo market is that banks can quantify the exact amount of time it takes to complete a transaction with cash and treasuries being returned instantaneously. While in the repo market transaction are difficult to arrange within the same trading day, the service facilitates instant access to cash and the ability to define ‘to-the-minute’ contract maturities affording participants improved opportunities to optimise their USD cash and Treasuries.
13 September 2021 - Securities finance trade of a digital bond issued on a public blockchain initiated by Societe Generale and SG-Forge
Societe Generale and its subsidiary Societe Generale-Forge have realized a security finance transaction on a digital bond issued on a public blockchain, in cooperation with a German asset manager. Initially, the European Investment Bank (EIB) issued in April 2021 its first ever digital bond on the public blockchain Ethereum, in collaboration with Societe Generale and its regulated subsidiary Societe Generale-Forge. Societe Generale placed some of the digital bonds to a top tier German-based Asset Manager. Following the placing transaction, Societe Generale offered the client to enter into a collateral upgrade trade to optimize the holding of the EIB digital bond. This is the first time that a Digital Bond was borrowed via the blockchain and collateralized on a triparty agent on the back of a traditional contractual setup.
In the coming months, issuances of bonds on a public blockchain are expected to increase sharply. With this new transaction, Societe Generale Group, thanks to its structuring and engineering capability within its capital markets departments and Societe Generale-Forge, has built experience down the value chain in borrowing back a digital bond issued and distributed a few months ago. This secured financing trade is a great example of innovative use cases and gradual industrialization related to digital securities on distributed ledger technology.
14 June 2021 - Broadridge launches DLT Repo Platform to execute first bilateral repo trades using smart contracts
Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc. (NYSE:BR), announced the successful go-live of its transformative distributed ledger repo (DLR) platform. Early participants of the blockchain-enabled platform are realizing significant and immediate benefits of reduced risk, operational costs and enhanced liquidity, while also accelerating their digitization journey. The launch builds on the success of multiple pilots with sell-side and buy-side firms.
DLR provides a single platform where market participants can agree, execute and settle repo transactions. Furthermore, DLR allows for the immobilization of the underlying securities in the repo transactions, while transferring ownership via smart contracts executed on the platform. The platform’s functionality significantly reduces the operating cost and risk of all repo activity, including intraday, overnight and term repos, both on a bilateral and an intracompany basis and also reduces counterparty risk while increasing auditability. In the first week since launch, DLR has executed $31B in average daily volume. Leveraging Broadridge’s leading fixed income trade processing platform, DLR utilizes Daml smart contracts from Digital Asset as well as VMware Blockchain, a highly scalable distributed ledger platform. DLR reduces operational risk and settlement cost for repurchase, or repo, agreements by providing a secure record of repo trade details, reducing the need for reconciliation and removing obstacles to straight-through-processing.
10 December 2020 - J.P. Morgan Executes Intraday Repo Transaction Using Blockchain
J.P. Morgan (NYSE: JPM) announced it completed a live, blockchain-based intraday repo transaction. The transaction was successfully conducted between J.P. Morgan’s broker dealer and banking entity, using an in-house developed blockchain application which supported instantaneous settlement and maturity of the transaction in hours, as opposed to days.
The repo market provides a widely used form of secured financing, however, current operational limitations prevent the meaningful use of such financing to meet intraday liquidity needs. Using blockchain enables borrowers and lenders to execute shorter-term, intraday repo transactions with real-time, simultaneous transaction settlement, creating new ways to access intraday liquidity. Both collateral and cash legs of the repo transaction were settled using blockchain, with the cash leg leveraging JPM Coin.
The offering will be made available in production to external counterparties in the U.S. – some of which have already simulated transactions on the new application. J.P. Morgan developed the solution and tested its viability by conducting trades between two of its affiliates, alongside successful simulations of trades with Goldman Sachs and other entities, with BNY Mellon as the triparty agent.
28 July 2020 - Tel-Aviv Stock Exchange announces proposed launch of a Central Blockchain Securities Lending Platform
The Tel-Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) announced the first-ever launch in Israel of a Central Blockchain Securities Lending Platform. The cutting-edge platform will transform the Securities Lending market in Israel by enabling direct lending among all the major financial instruments. The platform will function as a one-stop-shop for all securities lending activities, permitting access to larger securities volumes within shorter timeframes, even operating in shorter-term positions. In March 2020, TASE members were given access to an initial testing environment, in order to test lending transactions in the new platform and adapt their systems in preparation for the production phase.
The use of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) as the basis of this new trading platform will harness some of the blockchain's primary advantages and features, such as direct peer-to-peer transactions, Smart Contract, and enhanced security through immutability. All of these are expected to benefit TASE, its custodians and their clients by reducing costs, increasing security and enabling the market to exploit its full potential.
5 May 2020 - OCC Selects Axoni to Modernize Securities Lending Infrastructure
The OCC announced it has selected Axoni to develop and implement a distributed ledger technology solution to replace its existing securities lending infrastructure. Development is slated to begin in the second quarter of 2020, and eventual deployment will be rolled out in various phases. The solution will be deployed using AxCore, Axoni's distributed ledger protocol, and is slated to be hosted in the cloud. The vision of the initial roll-out is to establish a permissioned distributed ledger network for cleared stock loan transactions, governed by OCC, with the potential for peer nodes at clearing member firms that will enable participants to have a real time, accurate copy of contract and activity information, thereby reducing the need for manual reconciliation. OCC, Axoni, and OCC clearing member firms have identified several opportunities to further streamline processing within the marketplace once the baseline platform has been established.
23 January 2020 - Deutsche Bundesbank and Deutsche Börse publish concept study on DLT-based collateral management
The Deutsche Bundesbank and Deutsche Börse have presented the results of a concept study on the use of distributed ledger technology (DLT) in the area of collateral management. This study outlines that, in principle, DLT is capable of delivering further benefits in terms of the velocity and usability of collateral. The two institutions are thus continuing their successful cooperation in researching the capabilities offered by securities settlement based on DLT technology.
Specifically, the joint study elaborates on a model where:
- tokens representing underlying securities and specific related rights are introduced;
- collateral – a specific ISIN or a basket of securities – is mobilized via tokens without any movement in the underlying assets;
- a specific trust function is introduced which secures the interests of the token holder with regard to the physical securities in custody.
11 December 2019 - BME launches a new blockchain-based collateral pledge management service
BME has successfully launched the process for the digitisation of the certification of collateral pledge using Blockchain technology, eliminating the need to use and exchange physical certificates. Renta 4 Banco has actively participated in the project and has already registered the first digital pledges, thus becoming the first users of the service, called Be DLT-Prenda.
This new development, which has been carried out in just 9 months, involves the digitalisation of processes and guarantees access to real-time information for all participants, in this way reducing the time needed for the constitution of a pledge from 24 hours to less than 10 minutes. In addition, it improves operational and risk control of the participants, who are given direct access to information to be able to validate the transactions associated with the constitution of the pledges.
3 December 2019 - Commerzbank, Credit Suisse and UBS execute first live transactions on the Deutsche Börse-HQLAx securities lending platform
Deutsche Börse and HQLAX successfully launched their jointly developed Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) solution for frictionless collateral swaps in the securities lending market. The live transactions were executed by Commerzbank, Credit Suisse and UBS on the Eurex Repo F7-trading system. As part of these transactions, ownership of a basket of German government bonds and a basket of corporate bonds was swapped between UBS and Commerzbank, both using Clearstream Banking S.A. as custodian. This was followed by a cross-custodian swap between UBS and Credit Suisse, in which ownership of a basket of corporate bonds at Clearstream Banking S.A. and a basket of German government bonds at Euroclear Bank was exchanged without the need for securities to be physically moved between the collateral agents. Instead, the change in ownership was recorded on the digital collateral registry, which is one of the four layers of the HQLAX operating model and was built on Corda Enterprise, the commercial distribution of R3’s blockchain platform.
In addition to Commerzbank, Credit Suisse and UBS, over 15 market participants, including CIBC, Citi, Goldman Sachs and ING, are currently engaged in different phases of onboarding to the HQLAX platform. Meanwhile, J.P. Morgan is in the process of becoming the third tri-party agent in the HQLAX operating model, alongside Clearstream Banking S.A. and Euroclear Bank. This will add another important custody/collateral location to the solution, further increasing collateral mobilisation efficiencies for participants.
19 November 2019 - Sberbank obtains patent for solution to automate repo deals via blockchain
Sberbank is the first in Russia to have obtained a patent for a repo deals solution and an execution system that utilize distributed ledger technology. The solution was developed by the bank only. With the all-new solution, the parties to a deal can register the terms of a repurchase agreement inside a self-executable decentralized environment, i.e. sign a smart contract. Then the parties will sign the smart contract with their e-signatures via a distributed ledger, while the contract will meet the terms of the first part of the repo deal by transferring funds and securities to the parties.
The market price of securities is being monitored and put on a distributed ledger over the entire lifetime of a deal. Picking up signals from an external source, a smart contract will make mutual payments to the parties and close the deal automatically. The said system covers the entire end-to-end process, which puts off the table the issues of reconciliation and controversies between the parties, thus reducing risks for the bank and making financing more affordable for clients.
1 November 2019 - Bursa Malaysia: Securities borrowing and lending: the blockchain path to building operational efficiencies
Bursa Malaysia Berhad (“Bursa Malaysia” or “the Exchange”) has completed its first securities borrowing and lending (“SBL”) Proof-Of-Concept (“POC 1”) blockchain technology solution designed to increase the efficiency, speed and capacity in the securities lending supply and borrowing demand (“Lending Pool”). SBL POC 1 was executed and tested with technology partner Forms Syntron Information (HK) Ltd (“FORMS HK”), a subsidiary of Shenzhen Stock Exchange-listed Shenzhen Forms Syntron Information Co. Ltd., and industry collaborators Affin Hwang Investment Bank Berhad, CGS-CIMB Securities Sdn Bhd, Citibank Berhad, Kumpulan Wang Persaraan (Diperbadankan) and Malacca Securities Sdn Bhd.
SBL POC 1 was a successful test of a private-permissioned blockchain-driven SBL Lending Pool that can enhance market discovery, create increased efficiencies as well as build transparency and trust. It has secure, shared ledgers and smart contracts which enable instant and automated update of asset status. Information stored in the ledger, like records of trade negotiations and order confirmations, are immutable, auditable and traceable. It avoids the need for manual reconciliation, which may introduce errors due to disparate methods of trade negotiation and order confirmation recording.
14 March 2019 - BME and RENTA 4 test Blockchain technology for collateral pledge
BME and Renta 4 Banco have carried out the first test for the digitisation of the certification process of collateral pledge using Blockchain technology, eliminating the need to use and exchange physical certificates. The proof of concept entailed the constitution and release of collateral pledged by Renta 4 Banco to cover customer’s positions at BME Clearing, BME’s central counterparty. Blockchain-based technology has made it possible to eliminate the creation and exchange of physical certificates in these transactions, digitising all the processes and ensuring that all participants in the Blockchain have access to the information in real time.
The proof has shown a reduction in the total times of end-to-end processes exceeding 80%. Moreover, the system will bring about a radical improvement in the participants’ operational and risk management as they will gain direct access to the information and participate in the validation of pledge agreements. his proof of concept has been fully developed by BME’s DLT-Lab, through which BME analyses and explores the use of Blockchain technology in the digitalisation of processes and new operational models for improving current financial processes, in collaboration with the regulators and different financial institutions. DLT-Lab has worked together with those infrastructures involved in the process and the BME subsidiaries BME Clearing, the Spanish central securities depository IBERCLEAR and Renta 4 Banco as the pilot firm.
6 March 2019 - Commerzbank and Deutsche Börse execute legally binding securities settlement using distributed ledger technology
Commerzbank and Deutsche Börse have for the first time successfully used distributed ledger technology to execute a legally binding settlement of a repo transaction. The prototype transaction based on delivery versus payment was executed as part of a joint proof of concept examining the possible use of blockchain technology in securities settlement.
For the transaction, digital tokens were generated for both commercial bank money (cash tokens) and securities (securities tokens). Distributed ledger technology was then used to execute the simultaneous swap of the tokens as a legally binding transaction. Deutsche Börse acted as the cash provider, Commerzbank as the borrower and main incubator, Commerzbank’s research and development unit, acted as the blockchain platform operator. The technology used and the underlying legal concept were developed jointly by the partners. […] The repo transaction is based on a public note of KfW Bank Group (ISIN DE000A2LQSP7) amounting to EUR 10 million and a seven-day term with a negative interest rate of -0.5%.
29 January 2019 - Deutsche Börse and HQLAᵡ make significant progress on blockchain securities lending solution
The development of the HQLAx target operating model, an innovative blockchain solution for collateral swaps in the securities lending market by Deutsche Börse Group and HQLAx, is showing significant progress. […] Following extensive testing during deployment over the past months, the technical set-up is close to final, as is the legal and regulatory framework. Six banks already confirmed that they have started their onboarding processes and will join the platform at launch date, which is expected in the first half of 2019.
Unlike in traditional settlement, there will be no actual movement of securities between custody accounts on the HQLAx target operating model. Instead, tokens will be transferred while the underlying securities will be kept off-blockchain and remain static. This helps market participants to redistribute liquidity more efficiently by providing collateral mobility across systems and locations. The platform will be accessed via Deutsche Börse’s Eurex Repo trading system. A trusted third party layer will be the interface between the distributed ledger technology (DLT) and legacy securities infrastructure leveraging well-established triparty collateral management services.
6 December 2018 - Sberbank, BC Region and the NSD enter into world’s first three-way repo deal using blockchain technology
With the participation of the National Settlement Depository (NSD), Sberbank and Brokerage Company Region entered into a three-way OTC repo deal using a smart contract on a blockchain network. The deal involved a rouble-denominated OTC repo secured by federal loan bonds (OFZs). From a legal point of view, the deal is governed by Russian law and is a binding financial contract that was signed electronically using a smart contract and e-signatures via the CMS of the NSD.
The deal had three parties: the seller – Sberbank, the buyer – BC Region, and the settlement agent – the NSD. Interaction between the parties was fully automated and took place on a blockchain network. Each participant submitted an instruction to its node in the network, after which the smart contract concluded the deal and submitted settlement instructions to the NSD’s clearing system. The NSD’s CMS platform was used to carry our settlements, which allowed the participants of the repo deal to automate the execution of margins, settlement functions and repository reporting.
19 June 2018 - ABN AMRO Clearing, EuroCCP, Euroclear and Nasdaq partner on blockchain based margin and collateral solution
ABN AMRO Clearing, EuroCCP, Euroclear and Nasdaq have completed a joint proof of concept to make the use of securities more efficient when used to cover margin calls, including after business hours, using blockchain, or distributed ledger technology (DLT). This solution addresses significant business challenges and inefficiencies related to the current provision of collateral to Central Counterparties (CCPs) and has demonstrated that a shared, resilient network can be built between collateral givers, collateral takers and intermediaries. […] The underlying collateral transfers were processed by Euroclear’s Central Securities Depository, ensuring settlement finality and regulatory compliance.
25 May 2018 - Tel-Aviv Stock Exchange, Accenture and The Floor Announce the Development of a New Blockchain Securities Lending Platform Powered by Intel
There is currently no central securities lending platform in the Israeli market. Securities Lending is at present executed in the capital market, primarily using inter-bank mechanisms within, and if necessary outside, banking group limits. As a result, the market has not been fully exploited to satisfy the potential needs of economic agents. The purpose of this project is to create one central platform that will transform the Securities Lending market in Israel by enabling direct lending among all the major financial instruments. The platform will function as a one-stop-shop for all securities lending activities, permitting access to larger securities volumes within shorter timeframes, even operating in shorter-term positions.
Hyperledger Sawtooth is the infrastructure on which the project is based – an enterprise Blockchain platform for building Distributed Ledger (DLT) applications. Intel collaborated with Accenture and TASE and The Floor to deliver a private ledger on Hyperledger Sawtooth that utilizes Intel® Software Guard Extensions (Intel® SGX) technology to encrypt transaction data. This innovative enhancement helps keep data private among transaction participants and provides closed DLT platform members with additional confidentiality capabilities.
10 May 2018 - Broadridge Secures Industry-Leading Blockchain Patent for Proxy Processing and Repo Agreements
Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc. today announced that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted U.S. Patent No. 9,967,238 (the “‘238 Patent”) directed to blockchain technology that will enhance the processes for proxy voting and repurchase, or repo, agreements. […] Building upon Broadridge’s successful blockchain-based bilateral repo pilot with two global investment banks, which showed how blockchain technology can increase operational efficiency, reduce risk and improve auditability, the ‘238 Patent demonstrates how Broadridge’s technology can streamline reconciliation processes, improve data management and reduce non-value added costs. It will also expand Broadridge’s end-to-end proxy solution suite, leveraging the firm’s collaboration with three leading global banking institutions to employ blockchain technology to enhance global proxy vote transparency and analytics.
26 March 2018 - Deutsche Börse Group and HQLAX partner to build securities lending solution on the R3 Corda blockchain platform
Deutsche Börse Group and HQLAX have signed a Letter of Intent to form a strategic partnership for the creation of an innovative securities lending solution using the R3 Corda blockchain platform. […] In a traditional settlement of a securities lending transaction, underlying securities are transferred between custody accounts. In the HQLAX operating model, legal title transfer of baskets of securities will be achieved by the transfer of ownership of HQLAX Digital Collateral Records (DCRs) while the underlying securities remain static within unique DCR-linked custody accounts. The use of DCRs to effect transfers of securities will enhance regulatory transparency, mitigate systemic risk, reduce operational risk, and help financial institutions mobilise collateral and manage capital more efficiently.
1 March 2018 - Credit Suisse and ING execute first live transaction using HQLAx securities lending app on R3's Corda blockchain platform
Credit Suisse and ING swapped baskets of securities of value EUR 25 million using the HQLAX Corda-based collateral lending application.
During the transaction, Credit Suisse and ING agreed to transfer legal ownership of Dutch and German government securities on the platform using HQLAX Digital Collateral Records (DCRs) while the underlying securities remained static within unique DCR-linked custody accounts held by Credit Suisse and ING at Credit Suisse (Switzerland) Ltd.
23 January 2018 - Announcing Oxygen, the first CryptoRepo trading platform
Oxygen has announced the launch of the world’s first decentralized CryptoRepo trading platform. Oxygen integrates repo, an essential building block for liquid and efficient financial markets, into the crypto economy. The platform will provide crypto asset holders opportunities to earn additional income, raise liquidity and take investment views across a wide range of cryptocurrencies, coins and tokens.
In а CryptoRepo transaction, one party borrows crypto assets from another party and commits to return these assets with interest at a future date. The Borrower provides crypto assets to the Lender as collateral, creating a secured digital transaction using an Ethereum-based Smart Contract.
17 October 2017 - Broadridge Successfully Completes Pilot of Blockchain-Based Bilateral Repo Solution
Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc. (NYSE:BR), announced today the successful completion of a pilot with Natixis and Societe Generale which leverages blockchain technology to enhance the operational efficiency and auditability of bilateral repurchase, or repo, agreements.
The pilot utilizes distributed ledger technology capabilities to reduce operational risk for market participants by providing a secure record of repo trade details, reducing the need for reconciliation and removing obstacles to straight through processing. This new blockchain-enabled solution, which automates end-to-end processes, streamlines the repo agreement and confirmation processes, offers a faster and more accurate collateral substitution process, while eliminating time consuming manual interventions, and reduces counterparty risk while increasing auditability.
18 January 2017 - "Liquidity Alliance" builds blockchain solution for cross-border collateral transfer”
Four members of the "Liquidity Alliance" (LA), an international group of central securities depositories (CSDs), are cooperating with Deutsche Börse to launch an initiative leveraging blockchain technology to ease cross-border mobilisation of security collateral. With the planned solution, The Canadian Depository for Securities Limited (CDS), Clearstream (Luxembourg), Strate (South Africa) and VPS (Norway) want to overcome existing hurdles when moving collateral across various jurisdictions, making the transfer faster and more efficient. […]
Being jointly provided by regulated market infrastructures, the Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) based "LA Ledger" prototype will enable a centralised, faster and more efficient allocation of fragmented security positions to cover financial obligations of market participants in multiple jurisdictions. The decentralised character of DLT (blockchain) allows for direct interaction between participants giving it the potential to simplify complex processes.
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12 April 2022 - DTCC’s Project Lithium to test Digital US Currency in clearing and settlement
As the U.S. government advances its analysis into the risks and benefits of a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) announced the development of the first prototype to explore how a CBDC might operate in the U.S clearing and settlement infrastructure leveraging distributed ledger technology (DLT). The prototype, known as Project Lithium, will measure the benefits of a CBDC and inform the future design of the firm’s clearing and settlement offerings. It will also explore how a CBDC could enable atomic settlement, a conditional settlement that occurs if delivery and payment are both received at the same time.
As the markets evolve and become more digitalized, the use of printed U.S. currency continues to decline while the adoption of tokenized securities grows at a rapid pace. Unlike private cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, a CBDC would be issued and backed by the Federal Reserve, just like U.S. paper dollars and coins. With this prototype, DTCC, in partnership with The Digital Dollar Project (DDP), aims to demonstrate the direct, bilateral settlement of cash tokens between participants in real-time delivery-versus-payment (DVP) settlement. The pilot will also identify how it can leverage DTCC’s robust clearing and settlement capabilities to fully realize the potential benefits of a CBDC, including (i) Reduced counterparty risk and trapped liquidity, (ii) Increased capital efficiency, (iii) A more efficient, automated workflow (iv) The guarantee that cash and securities are delivered, and (v) Added transparency to regulators.
6 April 2022 - SARB completes DLT payments and debenture tokenisation proof-of concept
The South African Reserve Bank (SARB), in collaboration with the Intergovernmental Fintech Working Group (IFWG), announced the launched the Project Khokha 2 (PK2) report, following the conclusion of the technical proof-of-concept (PoC). PK2 was launched in February 2021 as an initiative under the IFWG’s Innovation Accelerator and was driven by the SARB’s Fintech Unit. PK2 aimed to issue, clear and settle SARB debentures (a debt security) on DLT using two settlement options: a wholesale central bank digital currency (wCBDC) as a form of central bank money, and a wholesale settlement token (wToken) as a form of private money issued by commercial banks. Two DLT networks were created for the debenture token market. The one network, Khokha Hub, served as a token trading platform and enabled the issuance of, and trade in, debenture tokens. The other network, wCBDC Zone, enabled the issuance of wCBDC on a private platform owned and operated by the SARB. Industry participants who participated in the technical PoC were Absa, FirstRand, JSE Limited, Nedbank and Standard Bank as well as technical and support service providers.
31 January 2022 - LuxSE admits first financial instrument registered on DLT on LuxSE SOL
The Luxembourg Stock Exchange (LuxSE) and Societe Generale marked the admission of the very first financial instruments registered on a public Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) on LuxSE’s Securities Official List (LuxSE SOL). The three series of security tokens admitted on LuxSE SOL are digital covered bonds (OFH Tokens) and structured products that have been issued and deployed by Societe Generale’s digital assets arm, Societe Generale - FORGE (SG - FORGE), natively on the Ethereum and Tezos public blockchains respectively. They are characterized as financial instruments and debt securities under French law and are compliant with the CAST open-source interoperability and securitization framework.
The admission takes place within a larger context marked by the acceleration of market digitalisation using blockchain technology, notably through the imminent adoption of the EU Pilot Regime, which is expected to enter into force in 2022, and which will permit the processing of security tokens through market infrastructures in compatibility with applicable EU regulations within a transitional period. Native security tokens issued on DLT allow for a fully digital issuance process and lifecycle. Due to their innovative characteristics, native security tokens have the potential to significantly improve efficiency and transparency in financial markets and make transactions safer and more resilient – all while offering benefits similar to those of financial instruments issued in a conventional way. To clarify the eligibility criteria and guide issuers of security tokens through the admission process, LuxSE published Guidelines for the registration of DLT financial instruments onto SOL. To be considered for admission on LuxSE SOL, security tokens will need to respect these guidelines as well as the LuxSE SOL Rulebook.
26 January 2022 – ADB to develop a prototype for cross-border securities transaction system using blockchain
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has launched a project to make cross-border securities transactions in Asia and the Pacific more efficient and secure through the use of blockchain technology. Working with leading blockchain companies, ADB will seek to develop ways to directly connect central banks and securities depositories in the ASEAN+3 region within a blockchain network. The region consists of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations plus Japan, the People’s Republic of China, and the Republic of Korea.
3 November 2021 - Goldman Sachs Taps Digital Asset to Build Open Platform for Tokenized Assets
Digital Asset, a leading software and services provider helping enterprises build economic value through interconnected networks, announced that Goldman Sachs will use Daml, Digital Asset’s core technology, to develop its end-to-end tokenized asset infrastructure supporting the end-to-end digital life cycle across multiple asset classes on permissioned and public blockchains.
Daml is a platform for building multi-party applications that run seamlessly across new technologies and legacy infrastructure. It is the first system to fulfill the key requirements of a network-of-networks for global commerce. Daml solutions have been selected for production rollout at several of the world’s top exchanges, as well as powering the daily processing of around $35B in repo transactions.
9 November 2021: DTCC to Launch Platform to Digitalize and Modernize Private Markets
The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) announced a new platform to streamline the issuance, transfer and servicing of private market securities. As described in a new industry report, “Digital Securities Management: Bringing Private Markets Infrastructure Into the 21st Century”, DTCC’s new Digital Securities Management (DSM) platform will, subject to regulatory approval, for the first time, provide an industry-wide solution that offers common market infrastructure and standards across private markets. The platform represents the next major milestone in DTCC’s efforts to bring automation, standardization and efficiency to the private markets, building upon its Project Whitney case study.
DSM will offer access to participants through both central and distributed infrastructure, leveraging a cloud-based architecture to enable the book entry recordkeeping of securities as well as support the burgeoning digital asset ecosystem by providing the option to create tokenized representations of a security. From launch, DSM will optimize primary issuance and transform secondary markets, creating new business model and distribution opportunities for participants while facilitating a digital asset ecosystem. Architected to be blockchain agnostic, DSM will initially interface with the Public Ethereum Network, but will incorporate additional public and private blockchain support based on client and market demand. The DSM platform will initially support pre-IPO equity securities, and will expand into other markets, positioning it to become the platform of choice for funds, debt, real estate, loans and other private instruments that are underserved today from a market infrastructure perspective. DTCC is currently in the production build phase of the DSM platform and, subject to final regulatory approval, is expected to launch the service in early 2022.
6 October 2021 - Deutsche Börse launches next-generation digital post-trade platform
Global market infrastructure provider Deutsche Börse plans to launch a regulatory compliant, fully digital post-trade platform called D7, anchored in the recently introduced German digital securities law framework. The new cloud-backed and DLT-ready D7 platform will enable market participants to digitise their financial products with continuing access to both existing central and distributed infrastructures and markets. The D7 platform paves way for same-day-issuance and paperless, automated straight-through processing for the entire value chain of issuance, custody, settlement, payment and asset servicing for digital securities. As of mid-2022, over 80 per cent of German securities will be digitisable via D7, fostering digitisation of the German and European financial markets. D7 will complement the Group’s established “7 Market Technology” infrastructure portfolio.
For this transformational step forward in realising a digital future for securities markets, Deutsche Börse has joined forces with several leading global and German financial institutions to create a market-ready digital infrastructure, including BNP Paribas, Citi, DekaBank, Deutsche Bank, dwpbank, DZ Bank, Goldman Sachs, Raiffeisen Bank International and Vontobel. The D7 platform is being developed in collaboration with long-term strategic technology partners Digital Asset and Microsoft, as well as R3 and VMware. The complete functionality of the D7 platform will be rolled out in phases over the next few years.
15 September 2021 - DTCC’S Project ION Platform Moves to Development Phase
The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) announced that its Project Ion initiative, an alternative settlement platform that leverages distributed ledger technology (DLT), will move into a development phase following a successful prototype pilot with leading market participant firms. With six months of testing of the “proof of concept” now complete, DTCC has the quantitative data and qualitative feedback to build out a production-ready workflow and a roadmap for, subject to regulatory approval, future full industry integration and adoption. Specifically modelled around a netted T+0 settlement cycle — but capable of supporting T+2, T+1, T+0 or extended settlement cycles — the Project Ion platform is designed to: (i) Provide a clearance and settlement option for the industry leveraging DTCC’s core benefits of risk management and volume capacity, including netting and the trade guarantee of the CCP. (ii) Support new features, with seamless interoperability between the Project Ion platform and the classic settlement platforms at The Depository Trust Company (DTC). (iii) Ensure adherence to DTCC’s rigorous regulatory standards across resiliency, stability, security, risk, and controls.
As described in a new white paper, “Building the Settlement System of the Future,” the first phase of the Project Ion platform will support bilateral deliver order transactions that will be initiated by pilot participants through client nodes hosted by DTCC. Once launched, the transactions will be processed through the Project Ion platform and then passed to DTC’s existing systems for settlement processing. The Project Ion platform is anticipated to be launched in the first quarter of 2022, and will serve as a parallel book and infrastructure for limited bilateral transactions on DLT, with DTC’s existing systems continuing to remain the authoritative source of transactions. DTCC has planned for early and later adoption of the functionality and technology offered by Project Ion, to ensure the phased roll-out is responsive to clients’ individual development agendas. For clients, this means that while the general industry can move ahead to achieve T+1 accelerated settlement on DTCC’s classic systems, those clients ready to integrate onto the ledger can begin development efforts and start to ready their firms for the future operating model without waiting for full-market adoption.
10 September 2021 - SIX Digital Exchange gets regulatory approval from FINMA
SIX Digital Exchange (SDX) formally received the FINMA go-ahead to operate a stock exchange and a central securities depository for digital assets in Switzerland. This authorization enables SDX to go live with a fully regulated, integrated trading, settlement, and custody infrastructure based on distributed ledger technology for digital securities. With these licenses, SDX can now offer the highest Swiss standards of oversight and regulation. SIX Digital Exchange set out to build a fully integrated trading, settlement, and custody infrastructure based on distributed ledger technology for digital assets in 2018. This milestone has now been reached with the approval of both licenses and paves the way for the next stage in the development of a future ecosystem.
Over the coming months and years, SIX Digital Exchange will continue to invest in building out the digital financial ecosystem to create a global liquidity network for digital assets by engaging in cooperative ventures with partners and accelerating the onboarding of various global and local financial players. As this international customer base expands to include banks, issuers, insurance firms, institutional investors, the members of SDX will create a global exchange network for digital assets, unlocking global liquidity based on Distributed Ledger Technology.
See also: FINMA press release (10 September 2021)
13 August 2021 – SEBI announces ‘Security and Covenant Monitoring’ using Distributed Ledger Technology
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) released its circular on ‘Security and Covenant Monitoring’ using Distributed Ledger Technology. In order to strengthen the process of security creation, monitoring of security created, monitoring of asset cover and covenants of the non-convertible securities, a working group comprising of officials from SEBI, Depositories, Stock Exchanges and Trustees Association of India (TAI) was constituted by SEBI.
Based on the recommendations of the working group, a platform for ‘Security and Covenant Monitoring System’ (‘system’) hosted by Depositories shall be developed. The system shall be used for recording and monitoring of the security created and monitoring of covenants of non-convertible securities. The system shall inter alia capture the process of creation of security (viz. due diligence, charge creation etc.), continuous monitoring of covenants by Debenture Trustees (as applicable), credit rating of the non-convertible securities by the Credit Rating Agencies (CRAs) etc. Depositories shall create, host, maintain and disseminate the system for security and covenant monitoring using distributed ledger technology. The system shall come into effect from April 01, 2022. However, testing of the system shall start from January 01, 2022 and therefore, Issuers, Debenture Trustees and Credit Rating Agencies etc. are thereby advised to carry out necessary changes, if any, in order to be ready to execute such functions as required for the proposed platform
22 July 2021 – Central Bank of Colombia, IDB Group and Banco Davivienda pilot bond issuance using blockchain technology
The Central Bank of Colombia announced the launch of a pilot bond issuance, in collaboration with IDB Group and Banco Davivienda, to be negotiated and settled in blockchain technology through the use of smart contracts. The pilot seeks to verify the benefits of this new technology in the life cycle of a security, from issuance to expiration. The benefits include the potential reduction of operational costs, the optimisation of process times, greater efficiencies in the traceability and security of operations, the elimination of information asymmetries and a better management of financial risks, among others.
The Banco de la República will act as an observer node in the blockchain network. Their participation in the technological experiment is carried out in order to understand the process of issuing and trading securities in a decentralized way in blockchain technology in the primary and secondary market, as well as understanding the operational challenges of the project and the regulatory needs. Davivienda and the IDB Group seek that, with the proof of concept, whose duration is estimated at 6 months, a commercial, operational, technological and regulatory framework is created necessary to be able to carry out “real” operations of debt instruments through technology blockchain and the use of smart contracts.
8 July 2021 - Banque de France and Monetary Authority of Singapore completion of wholesale cross-border payment and settlement experiment using CBDC
The Banque de France (BdF) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced the successful completion of a wholesale cross-border payment and settlement experiment using central bank digital currency (CBDC). The experiment, supported by J.P. Morgan’s Onyx, simulated cross-border transactions involving multiple CBDCs (m-CBDC) on a common network between Singapore and France. This experiment is one of the last of the Banque de France wholesale experiment program, which will be achieved by fall 2021, and is the first m-CBDC experiment that applied automated market making and liquidity management capabilities to reap cross-border payment and settlement efficiencies.
Cross border payments currently rely on correspondent bank arrangements that are subject to limited transparency on foreign exchange rates, restricted operating hours of payment infrastructures and currency settlement delays due to differences in time zones. To address these challenges, the experiment used a common m-CBDC network, aimed at facilitating cross border payments on a 24 x 7 real time basis. The experiment simulated cross-border and cross-currency transactions for Singapore Dollar (SGD) CBDC and €uro (EUR) CBDC, and was conducted using a permissioned, privacy-enabled blockchain based on Quorum technology. Four key outcomes were achieved: (1) The demonstration of interoperability across different types of cloud infrastructure. Blockchain nodes were set up across private and public cloud infrastructures in both countries. (2) The design of a common m-CBDC network that enabled the two central banks to have visibility on cross border payments, while retaining independent control over the issuance and distribution of their own CBDC. (3) The setup of an experimental m-CBDC network that incorporated automated liquidity pool and market-making service for EUR/SGD currency pairs. The use of smart contracts automatically managed the EUR/SGD currency exchange rate in line with real-time market transactions and demands. The simulation of an experimental m-CBDC network that showed that the number of correspondent banking parties involved in the payment chain for cross-border transactions can be reduced. Consequently, the number of contractual arrangements, the KYC (Know Your Customer) burden as well as the associated costs could be cut down.
5 July 2021 - Banque de France conducts experiment on the use of CBDC for issuance and settlement of listed and unlisted securities
On 18 and 25 June 2021, the Banque de France successfully carried out a fifth experiment on central bank digital currency (CBDC) with a consortium of actors driven by LiquidShare as part of the experimental programme launched in March 2020. The experiment involved the simulation on a private blockchain of the issuance and settlement of unlisted securities and of the settlement of listed securities. Settlements of securities were simulated by central bank digital currency issued on the blockchain. The experiment required the development and deployment of smart contracts so that the Banque de France could issue and control the circulation of CBDC tokens while ensuring that each transfer takes place simultaneously with the delivery of the securities. These operations were conducted by a consortium of players gathered at the initiative of LiquidShare, among which Axa Investment Managers, BNP Paribas Securities Services, CACEIS Bank, CIC Market Solutions, Crédit Agricole Titres, Euroclear, Euronext, Kriptown, La Banque Postale, Caisse des Dépôts, ODDO BHF, ODDO BHF AM, OFI AM and Société Générale Securities Services.
This experiment made it possible to test the integration of issuance and settlement activities, including exchanges on the secondary market. It serves the discussions that the Banque de France is conducting on the tokenisation of financial assets; in particular, the new settlement processes tested should contribute to a greater integration of financial markets. The programme's other experiments are ongoing and all the lessons learned will be an important part of the Banque de France's contribution to the Eurosystem's more global reflection on the benefits of CBDC.
25 June 2021 - Banque de France conducts experiment on the use of CBDC to settle issuance of French Government Bond
The Banque de France conducted a successful experiment on the use of central bank digital currency to settle the issuance of a French Government Bond (OAT, Obligation Assimilable du Trésor) by Agence France Trésor with a consortium of actors driven by Euroclear. The Banque de France successfully conducted between 21 and 24 June a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) experiment with a group of economic players driven by Euroclear, as part of the experimental programme launched in March 2020. The experiment consisted in the simulation on a permissioned blockchain of Government bonds’ (OAT) issuance of by Agence France Trésor, followed by several secondary market operations performed on these bonds. Cash settlements were simulated by central bank digital currency issued on the blockchain. From a technological point of view, the experiment required the development and deployment of smart contracts so that the Banque de France could issue and control the circulation of CBDC tokens and ensure that their transfer takes place simultaneously with the delivery of the OAT tokens into the investors' portfolio.
These operations were conducted by a consortium of economic player’s setup at the initiative of Euroclear including Agence France Trésor, BNP Paribas, BNP Paribas Securities Services, Crédit Agricole CIB, HSBC Continental Europe and Société Générale who executed the different test scenarios along experiment days. Banque de France drove Software developments. The programme's other experiments are ongoing until autumn 2021 and all the lessons learned will be an important part of the Banque de France's contribution to the Eurosystem's more global reflection on the benefits of CBDC.
21 June 2021 - Banque de France conducts new CBDC experiment for settlement of listed securities
On 18 June 2021, Banque de France successfully conducted a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) experiment with SEBA Bank, as part of the experimental program launched in March 2020. The experiment consisted in using the CBDC to simulate the settlement of listed securities and thus trigger their delivery in TARGET2-Securities (T2S), in test environment, thanks to Conditional Securities Delivery (CoSD) existing feature in T2S. From a technological point of view, Banque de France simulated CBDC issuance on public blockchain, by preserving control and confidentiality of transactions, based on the development and deployment of a dedicated smart contract.
All these operations were conducted in collaboration with SEBA Bank, Banque Internationale à Luxembourg and LuxCSD.The programme's other experiments are ongoing until mid-2021 and all the lessons learned will be an important part of the Banque de France's contribution to the Eurosystem's more global reflection on the benefits of CBDC.
10 June 2021 - Banque de France, Swiss National Bank and Bank for International Settlements Innovation Hub collaborate for experiment in cross-border wholesale CBDC
The Banque de France, the Swiss National Bank and the BIS Innovation Hub today announced that, together with a private sector consortium led by Accenture, they will conduct an experiment using wholesale central bank digital currencies (wholesale CBDC) for cross-border settlement. The private sector consortium includes Credit Suisse, Natixis, R3, SIX Digital Exchange and UBS.
The experiment will explore cross-border settlement with two wholesale CBDC and a French digital financial instrument on a DLT platform. It will involve the exchange of the financial instrument against a euro wholesale CBDC through a delivery versus payment (DvP) settlement mechanism and the exchange of a euro wholesale CBDC against a Swiss franc wholesale CBDC through a payment versus payment (PvP) settlement mechanism. These transactions will be settled between banks domiciled in France and in Switzerland, respectively.
28 April 2021 - DBS, J.P. Morgan and Temasek to establish platform to transform interbank value movements in a new digital era
Acknowledging that the future of global payments is on the cusp of a fundamental shift, DBS, J.P. Morgan and Temasek announced plans to develop an open industry platform to reimagine and accelerate value movements for payments, trade and foreign exchange settlement in a new digital era, through a newly-established technology company. The company, Partior, aims to disrupt the traditional cross-border payments ‘hub and spoke’ model, that has resulted in common pain points, including multiple validations on payment details by banks, which translate to costly and onerous post transaction exception handling and reconciliation activities. Partior recognises the need for more efficient digital clearing and settlement solutions across the banking industry, and targets to address these challenges through the use of blockchain solutions to enable next generation, programmable value transfer for participating banks and their clients in real-time across a common and open platform.
The Partior platform has also set its sights on developing wholesale payments rails based on digitised commercial bank money to enable “atomic” or instantaneous settlement of payments for various types of financial transactions. Such functionality would help banks overcome challenges presented by the current standard sequential method of processing global payments. The operation of Partior by DBS, J.P. Morgan and Temasek and the completion of development, launch and availability of services on the proposed platform are subject to obtaining any required regulatory consents and approvals. When complete, the platform aims to provide 24/7 infrastructure that will enable financial institutions and developers to co-create applications that support use cases such as FX Payment Versus Payment (PVP), Delivery Versus Payment (DVP) and Peer-to-Peer escrows to complement and value-add to global financial ecosystems. The platform will start with a focus on facilitating flows primarily between Singapore-based banks in both USD and SGD, with the intent to expand service offerings to other markets and in various currencies. Partior’s platform will also be designed to complement ongoing Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) initiatives and use cases.
24 March 2021 - Deutsche Börse, Deutsche Bundesbank and Germany’s Finance Agency test DLT-based securities settlement in central bank money
Deutsche Börse, Deutsche Bundesbank and Germany’s Finance Agency have developed and successfully tested a settlement interface for electronic securities, working with a range of other market participants. Securities settlement using distributed ledger technology (DLT) is performed with the aid of a “trigger solution” and a transaction coordinator in TARGET2, the Eurosystem’s large-value payment system. In doing so, the participants have demonstrated that it is possible to establish a technological bridge between blockchain technology and conventional payment systems to settle securities in central bank money with no need to create central bank digital currency. During testing, the Federal Government’s Finance Agency issued a ten-year Federal bond (Bund) in the DLT system, with primary and secondary market transactions also being settled using DLT. The transactions carried out during testing are not legally binding.
DLT such as blockchain have been increasingly growing in importance in recent years. The project saw the creation of an interface between conventional payment systems and a DLT-based securities system. Two software modules – a trigger chain from the Bundesbank and a transaction coordinator from Deutsche Börse – connect TARGET2 with a DLT securities system. The securities and central bank money do not change hands until the transfer has been successfully confirmed by all parties. This delivery-versus-payment mode of settlement minimises counterparty risk for both the buyer and the seller. In DLT-based settlement, assets and money are typically tokenised, i.e. represented as digital tokens in the DLT environment. This newly unveiled solution does away with tokenised money. What has been created instead is an interface that connects the DLT platform with conventional payment systems and initiates (“triggers”) payment. As the solution tested in the project can be adopted by a variety of DLT-based settlement systems, it represents a major advance for the further use of DLT in the financial sector and real economy.
The market participants involved in conducting the experiment were Barclays, Citibank, Commerzbank, DZ Bank, Goldman Sachs and Société Générale.
19 March 2021 - DBS Bank China, supported by CCDC and SPD Bank, issues tier-2 capital bonds using blockchain technology for bookbuilding purposes
China Central Depository & Clearing Co., Ltd. ("CCDC") and Shanghai Pudong Development Bank (“SPDB”)(the lead underwriter) used blockchain technology for the first time to support DBS Bank (China) to successfully issue RMB 2 billion tier-2 capital bonds. The issuance interest rate is 4.7%, and the raised funds will be used to replenish the issuer’s tier-2 capital. Compared with the traditional method, the use of blockchain technology can reduce the information asymmetry in the issuance process, prevent the risk of data tampering, and realize the traceability of issuance data, so as to improve the efficiency of bond issuance and ensure security.
Based on a comprehensive strategic partnership, CCDC and SPDB continue to cooperate in cutting-edge fields such as fintech and innovation. For this bond issuance, CCDC and SPDB jointly built a consortium blockchain. CCDC as the bond market infrastructure was responsible for the overall business scenarios and blockchain design, and cooperated with SPDB on the blockchain implementation. The business and technical teams of both parties set up multiple blockchain nodes to enable information disclosure, placement, etc., and successfully applied blockchain technology to part of the bond issuance process. In the future, CCDC will continue to strengthen fintech cooperation with SPDB and other market institutions, promote the application of fintech in bond life-cycle services, and provide better services for innovations in China's bond market.
https://www.chinabankingnews.com/2021/03/24/dbs-bank-china-issues-tier-2-capital-bonds-with-the-help-of-blockchain-technology/ (News article in English)
4 February 2021 - Poland’s Ministry of Finance to use blockchain-based reporting system for treasury saving bonds transactions
A joint partnership of institutions has launched a blockchain-based reporting system for Poland’s treasury saving bonds transactions in a European first. Coinfirm and IBM are the innovative technological partners of the initiative alongside financial heavyweights PKO Bank Polski and the National Clearing House that launched the system in December 2020 – with the participation of Poland’s Ministry of Finance. The network, built on the Hyperledger Fabric blockchain technology due to its strong decentralization and scalability, guarantees the immutability of data regarding transactions on treasury savings bonds. Specially-purposed apps will enable stakeholders to generate reports based on current and past transactions data.
Blockchain solutions streamline the system of treasury bonds for critical ecosystem stakeholders such as issuers, underwriters, registrars and investors – becoming a totally immutable network – minimizing redundant validations of bond transactions. The transaction life cycle recorded in this way will lead to increased understanding and shall continue Coinfirm’s mission of powering the mass adoption of the technology. 2020 was a record year for the sale of treasury savings bonds in Poland, amounting to a total of 28.4 billion PLN (~5.6 billion GBP) – an increase of 64.1% from 2019. All retail bonds offered by Poland’s Ministry of Finance are organized by the issuance agent PKO Bank Polski.
29 January 2021 - SBI Group and SMBC establishment of joint venture to operate a digital securities trading system
SBI Holdings Co., Ltd. (President: Yoshitaka Kitao, hereinafter "SBIHD", the group is collectively referred to as the "SBI Group") and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, Inc. (President and CEO: Jun Ota, hereinafter the group Collectively, the "SMBC Group") aims to operate PTS (Private Trading System), which handles stocks and security tokens, in March 2021 with the aim of contributing to the further development of the financial industry. SBI and SMBC have signed a basic agreement regarding the joint establishment of "tentative name, hereinafter" ODX ").
ODX plans to handle stocks first by the spring of 2022, and then start handling security tokens. Security tokens refer to securities issued using electronic means such as blockchain, and are positioned as the right to display electronic record transfer securities under the Financial Instruments and Exchange Act. STO (Security Token Offering), a financing method that utilizes security tokens, expands financing opportunities for asset finance backed by real estate, which was difficult until now, and project finance for venture companies, and also meets a wide range of needs for investors. The SBI Group and SMBC Group aim to improve the secondary market for security tokens and support the flexible financing of companies by operating the first PTS in Japan that handles security tokens through ODX.
29 January 2021 - SGX and Temasek JV ties up with Covalent to build end-to-end digital infrastructure
Singapore Exchange (SGX) and Temasek announced that its digital assets joint venture (JV) –Marketnode – has partnered with fixed income issuance and data firm, Covalent Capital (Covalent), to build Asia Pacific’s first, end-to-end digital infrastructure in the fixed income space. This latest development follows the JV announcement by SGX and Temasek on 22 January. As part of the partnership, Marketnode will acquire a minority stake in Covalent. Marketnode will tap on the accelerated need to digitalise and optimise workflows to meet demand for capital in Asia, starting with fixed income (FI). The partnership is poised to consolidate primary FI workflows as bond issuances continue to grow in Asia ex-Japan, where G3 primary issues have grown 46% to US$387 billion over the last two years, totalling more than 800 new issues in 2020 with more than 450 issuers and 200 arranger banks.
Through their partnership, Marketnode and Covalent will work together to streamline the listing, straight-through processing and settlement of bonds and activities in bond lifecycle management. It will connect Covalent’s flagship OMAS platform, which is a data, book building and allocations tool, with SGX’s listing, post-trade and asset servicing capabilities, thereby providing the Asian bond market with a unique, one-stop listing, issuance and lifecycle management platform. This builds upon SGX, Temasek and HSBC’s digital bond collaboration, which saw Olam International’s inaugural digital issuance in August 2020 and subsequent return with an additional S$250 million digital issuance in January 2021.
22 January 2021 - SGX and Temasek partner to advance digital asset infrastructure in capital markets
Singapore Exchange (SGX) and Temasek announced that they have entered into a joint venture (JV), which is set to be Asia Pacific’s first exchange-led digital asset venture focused on capital markets workflows through smart contracts, ledger and tokenisation technologies. This builds on the successful collaboration between SGX, Temasek and HSBC which culminated with the issuance of Asia’s first public syndicated digital bond for Olam International in August 2020. In all, SGX’s digital asset issuance, depository and servicing platform was used to issue four digital bonds by several issuers, with a total size of over S$1 billion.
The partnership between SGX and Temasek combines SGX’s multi-asset experience and strengths in operating market infrastructure to the highest regulatory standards, together with Temasek’s expertise in blockchain technology and ecosystem connectivity. The JV will look to partner with fixed income issuance platforms to connect to its post-trade and asset servicing infrastructure, providing issuers, arranger banks, lawyers, investors and paying agents with a comprehensive, issuance-to-settlement network for Asia bonds. Concurrently, the JV will focus on other existing and emerging asset classes that have seen growing market demand, including funds and sustainable finance.
19 January 2021 - The Banque de France conducted a successful experiment with IZNES on the use of central bank digital money for interbank settlement purposes
On 17 December 2020, the Banque de France successfully carried out an experiment on central bank digital currency (CBDC) with IZNES as part of the experimental programme launched in March. The experiment consisted in the subscription and redemption by investors of money market fund units on a private Blockchain, provided by SETL, for a global amount exceeded 2 million euros. Cash settlements were simulated by central bank digital money issued on the blockchain. From a technological point of view, the experiment required the development and deployment of smart contracts so that the Banque de France could issue and control the circulation of CBDC tokens and ensure that their transfer takes place simultaneously with the delivery of the fund unit tokens into the investors' portfolio. The experiment was carried out in collaboration with IZNES, SETL, CACEIS, CITIGROUP, GROUPAMA AM, OFI AM and DXC.
This experiment represents a significant step forward in assessing the levers that a central bank digital currency provides for enhancing the efficiency and resilience of the settlement of financial asset in a blockchain environment, thereby contributing to the smooth functioning of the real economy. The programme's other experiments are ongoing until mid-2021 and all the lessons learned will be an important part of the Banque de France's contribution to the Eurosystem's more global reflection on the benefits of CBDC.
7 January 2021 - Deutsche Bank and Singapore fintech STACS announce collaboration for digital assets proof-of-concept
Deutsche Bank Securities Services and Hashstacs Pte Ltd (“STACS”) announced their collaboration to jointly explore a proof-of-concept related to the technological and practical feasibility of digital assets interoperability, liquidity, cross-border connectivity, and smart contract templates, including the support of sustainability-themed digital bonds.
STACS, in collaboration with Deutsche Bank Securities Services, was awarded the Proof-of-Concept (“POC”) grant on 29 October 2020, which provides funding support for experimentation, development and dissemination of nascent innovative technologies in the financial services sector. The POC grant is part of the Financial Sector Technology and Innovation ("FSTI”) scheme under the Financial Sector Development Fund administered by Monetary Authority of Singapore (“MAS”).
10 December 2020 - DBS to launch full-service digital exchange - providing tokenisation, trading and custody ecosystem for digital assets
DBS announced that it will set up a digital exchange, enabling Institutional Investors and Accredited Investors to tap into a fully integrated tokenisation, trading and custody ecosystem for digital assets. With the DBS Digital Exchange, DBS will leverage blockchain technology to provide an ecosystem for fund raising through asset tokenisation and secondary trading of digital assets including cryptocurrencies. This includes (i) Security Token Offerings, (ii) Digital Currency Exchange, and (iii) Digital Custody Services. The Security Token Offerings service is a regulated platform for the issuance and trading of digital tokens backed by financial assets, such as shares in unlisted companies, bonds and private equity funds.
The announcement follows the in-principle approval by the Monetary Authority of Singapore to recognise DBS Digital Exchange as a Recognised Market Operator, allowing it to operate organised markets for assets such as shares, bonds and private equity funds. Singapore Exchange (SGX) will take a 10% stake in the DBS Digital Exchange. Both parties will explore opportunities to deepen the liquidity, scale and growth of Singapore’s capital markets in the growing area of digital assets and digital currencies.
8 December 2020 - SIX and SBI Digital Asset Holdings announce plans for Singapore-based joint exchange venture
SIX Digital Exchange ("SDX") and SBI Digital Asset Holdings Co., Ltd., an SBI Group ("SBI") (8473) company announced their intentions to work towards a joint venture to drive institutional digital asset liquidity through a Singapore-based digital issuance platform, exchange and CSD venue that is set to go-live by 2022 subject to regulatory approvals from the Monetary Authority of Singapore. The contemplated joint venture announced by SBI and SIX is set to directly target the growing demand for public and private institutional digital assets, including regulated digital asset securities and cryptocurrency assets. The venture will market directly to regulated institutional clients , utilizing technologies from both companies to provide institutional grade services including issuing, listing, trading, CSD infrastructure and custody of digital assets and cryptocurrencies. It will leverage the extensive networks of SIX Digital Exchange in Switzerland and Europe, and SBI in the Asian Marketplace, as well as their joint expertise in facilitating Institutional clients’ needs.
As cryptocurrency transaction volumes grow with continued adoption by institutional money, regulated digital securities markets have been growing behind the scenes. This includes newly introduced assets into the market that are defined by on-ledger tokenized securities such as digital bonds, digital equities and digital securitized loans. Note – ‘digital’ here refers to the creation of native Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT)-based assets that are represented on chain and where transactions and corporate actions are verified. This new shift in market dynamics aims to be the focus of the proposed Singapore-based venture that target these “core” markets rather than retail and pure-cryptocurrency plays.
3 December 2020 - Bursa Malaysia and STACS complete blockchain POC to facilitate growth of the Labuan bond marketplace
Bursa Malaysia Berhad (“Bursa Malaysia” or “the Exchange”) today announced the successful completion of the bond on blockchain proof-of-concept (“POC”) with Singapore’s Fintech technology provider, Hashstacs Pte Ltd (“STACS”).
The POC was designed to facilitate the growth of the bond marketplace at the Labuan Financial Exchange (“LFX”) by harnessing the opportunities afforded by blockchain technology and the tokenisation of assets. It was executed via three different methodologies which were ‘Industry Driven’, ‘Lean-Agile’ and ‘Technology Interaction’. The POC successfully demonstrated that digital bonds could be issued and managed on a blockchain and its attributes of a single source of truth, smart contracts and automation allow for new service expansion offerings.
The POC saw the industry taking its first step to explore the potential of blockchain and digital assets. With the completion of the first milestone, future phases will look towards further collaboration, co-development and implementation of new technology to expand the Malaysian capital market and empower discoveries of new opportunities.
15 September 2020 - BNP Paribas Securities Services joins forces with Digital Asset to develop DLT trade and settlement apps
BNP Paribas Securities Services announced its partnership with Digital Asset to design a number of real-time trade and settlement apps using DAML smart contracts. The new apps will provide market participants in Asia Pacific with real-time access to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) and Hong Kong Exchange (HKEX)’s anticipated DLT-based trading and settlement platforms. The apps will also be available to clients in markets that have not integrated DLT, bringing them the benefit of real-time workflows.
BNP Paribas will connect to the ASX CHESS+ platform and the anticipated HKEX Synapse solution via the new Ledger Application Programming Interface for real-time information flows. In Australia, BNP Paribas will take a segregated node in the ASX CHESS+ distributed ledger, enabling the bank to offer its clients the full benefits of smart contract technology, including real-time information, rapid innovation and workflow automation from issuer to investor.
1 September 2020 - SGX, in collaboration with HSBC and Temasek, completes pilot digital bond for Olam International
Singapore Exchange (SGX), working together with HSBC Singapore and Temasek, has completed its first digital bond issuance on SGX’s digital asset issuance, depository and servicing platform, successfully replicating a S$400 million 5.5-year public bond issue and a follow-on S$100 million tap of the same issue by Olam International. SGX utilised DAML, the smart contract language created by Digital Asset, to model the bond and its distributed workflows for issuance and asset servicing over the bond’s lifecycle. SGX’s solution uses smart contracts to capture the rights and obligations of parties involved in issuance and asset servicing, such as arrangers, depository agents, legal counsel and custodians. The digital bond used HSBC’s on-chain payments solution which allows for seamless settlement in multiple currencies to facilitate transfer of proceeds between the issuer, arranger and investor custodian.
Key efficiencies observed within the pilot include timely ISIN (identifier) generation, elimination of settlement risk (for issuer, arranger and investors), reduction in primary issuance settlement (from 5 days to 2 days) as well as automation of coupon and redemption payments and registrar functionality. For more information, please visit this webpage. Building on this digital issuance, SGX will work with issuers, arrangers, custodian banks and investors to digitalise bond issuance, depository and asset servicing, progressively growing the fixed income ecosystem.
13 August 2020 - Philippines Bureau of the Treasury launches mobile app to enable retail treasury bonds purchasing
The Philippines’ first mobile application that allows small investors to buy government securities with their smartphones has enabled the government to raise about P48 million from the sale of the five-year PROGRESO Retail Treasury Bonds (RTBs), the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) reported. These bonds were offered to the public from July 16 to August 7, 2020. The app was launched by the BTr last July 16 in partnership with Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank) and the Philippine Digital Asset Exchange (PDAX). The app was designed to make purchasing government bonds more convenient, especially with quarantine protocols in place worldwide.
The PROGRESO bonds were offered with a 2.625% fixed annual interest rate payable every quarter, and a maturity date on August 12, 2025. Earnings from RTBs like the PROGRESO bonds are relatively higher compared to bank time deposits that offer an average of 1.125% interest for the same five-year tenor. As with the BTr's recent offerings, the online ordering facility viawww.treasury.gov.ph/rtb was also made available, providing an effective and convenient online channel for investors, especially overseas Filipinos, to invest in RTB 24. These digital platforms allow investors to buy RTBs without them having to physically go to banks to make such purchases. The BTr raised a total of P516.3 billion from its issue of the PROGRESO bonds over the three-week offer period. The total issue size consisted of P488.5 billion in new subscriptions and P27.8 billion more from the bond exchange program
29 July 2020 - Bursa Malaysia and Fintech Provider Hashstacs To Develop Blockchain PoC To Facilitate Growth of the Labuan Bond Market
Bursa Malaysia Berhad (“Bursa Malaysia” or “the Exchange”) and Singapore’s Fintech technology provider, Hashstacs Pte Ltd (“Hashstacs”) embarked on a bond on blockchain proof-of-concept (“POC”), to facilitate the growth of the bond marketplace at the Labuan Financial Exchange (“LFX”). The project, dubbed Project Harbour aims to explore and harness the opportunities afforded by blockchain technology and the tokenisation of assets.
Bursa Malaysia, alongside the Securities Commission of Malaysia, Labuan Financial Services Authority, CIMB Investment Bank Berhad, Maybank Investment Bank Berhad and China Construction Bank Corporation Labuan Branch, will utilise the Trident Platform built by Hashstacs to test and manage the end to end trade lifecycle management of tokenised bonds. The blockchain-based platform will facilitate the issuances of tokenised bonds seamlessly while providing a single source of truth to maintain the integrity of investors holdings and track transactions. In addition, smart contract technology automates the movement of funds and securities, amplifying asset servicing and the provision of liquidity to market participants.
3 June 2020 - Pilot Test of DLT Information Sharing Platform in the Field of Securities Post-Trade - Selection of Use Cases for Verification
Further to its announcement on 6 March 2020, Japan Exchange Group, Inc. (hereinafter "JPX") and Japan Securities Depository Center, Inc. (hereinafter "JASDEC") announced that they have selected three use cases for verification using a DLT test environment developed by JPX-led consortium in their pilot test project of a DLT information sharing platform in the field of securities post-trade launched in April 2020. The project participants submitted issues related to securities post-trade from their perspectives as industry practitioners. The issues were then categorized into nine use cases. In reviewing these nine use cases, consideration was given to the effects at the time of its practical application and feasibility for testing in a limited period of time.
While all the nine use cases are considered to be potentially effective in resolving the issues of the industry, JPX and JASDEC, after the consultation with the participants, have selected three use cases to be verified in this project due to the limited test period: (1) Sharing fund/SSI/basic corporate information, (2) Resolution of non-compatibility of fund distribution networks, and (3) Sharing information on borrowing/lending fee/collateral rate and equivalent dividend amount in stock borrowing and lending transactions.
18 May 2020 - Billon and Raiffeisen Bank International to Pilot Digitized National Currency
Billon and Raiffeisen Bank International successfully tested an end-to-end digitized national currency transfers PoC as part of the Elevator Lab acceleration program. The Polish-British fintech and the Austrian bank are developing initial phases of an RBI Tokenization Platform, and will pilot this platform for selected use cases, like real-time tokenized money transfers or improving the cut-off time for custody customers. The pilot aims to demonstrate how companies can improve their liquidity management, speed and availability of cross country funds transfers and facilitate new business processes.
18 May 2020 - DTCC Unveils Proposals to Explore Further Digitalization in the Public & Private Markets
The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) unveiled plans to explore the benefits of digitalization in the public and private markets and whether new technologies can strengthen post-trade processes and reduce risks and costs. DTCC’s proposals are contained in two case studies that advance the organization’s efforts to evaluate new ways to enhance post-trade processes through the digitalization of assets. The case studies – Project Ion and Project Whitney - are the latest efforts by DTCC to examine the potential use of DLT, asset digitalization and other emerging technologies. Project Ion seeks to build on DTCC’s successful efforts over the past several years to further optimize the settlement process in the public markets, while Project Whitney considers opportunities to provide increased levels of digitalization throughout the private market asset lifecycle.
Both Project Ion and Project Whitney remain in the experimentation stage, and a decision to progress the projects will be determined following further analysis and feedback from the industry.
17 March 2020 - Financial institutions team up to develop FundsDLT, a groundbreaking blockchain-based platform for the investment fund industry
Clearstream, Credit Suisse Asset Management, the Luxembourg Stock Exchange, and Natixis Investment Managers have announced a Series A investment in FundsDLT to develop a novel decentralised technology platform to facilitate the distribution of funds based on distributed ledger technology (DLT). This move marks a major milestone in the evolution of FundsDLT, originally initiated and incubated by the Luxembourg Stock Exchange and its affiliate Fundsquare.
FundsDLT is built using permissioned blockchain technology based on Ethereum, that ensures privacy and high performance. FundsDLT enables the reengineering of the fund distribution value chain, from front to back, covering the entire fund lifecycle. The platform allows asset managers, distributors, asset servicers, and the entire supply chain to reduce costs by removing redundant activities, while providing the opportunity to achieve necessary transparency on end investors and creating the foundation for digital fund distribution. The Series A funding will strengthen the FundsDLT platform and accelerate its commercial development.
6 March 2020 - Pilot Test of DLT Information Sharing Platform in the Field of Securities Post-Trade by Japan Exchange Group (JPX)
Japan Exchange Group, Inc. (hereinafter referred to as "JPX".) and Japan Securities Depository Center, Inc. announced today that they will launch pilot testing of a DLT information sharing platform for securities post-trade information in April this year, under JPX’s "Proof of Concept Testing for Utilization of Blockchain/DLT in Capital Market Infrastructure" program. NEC Corporation will be the IT support vendor.
"Securities post-trade" refers to all processes which occur after a securities transaction is executed. Because most of these processes are conducted mutually, it has been pointed out that mismatches in understanding between counterparties about data and workflows can lower efficiency. An information sharing platform using DLT, which excels in synchronizing recording and execution of data and workflows, would enable companies to check the latest definitive status of a trade at any time, possibly solving various problems in the post-trade field that companies struggle to solve alone.
13 November 2019 - HSBC partners with SGX and Temasek to explore DLT for fixed income
HSBC Singapore announced a trial with Singapore Exchange (“SGX”) and Temasek to explore the use of distributed ledger technology (“DLT”) for the issuance and servicing of fixed income securities, the first such end-to-end digitalisation initiative focusing on the Asia bond markets.
While Asia’s fixed income markets continue to see rapid growth, bond issuance and servicing processes remain inefficient due to the absence of a single platform for the exchange of information between multiple parties and tracking of a bond throughout its lifecycle. The trial will make use of tokenised securities and smart contracts over a permissioned ledger to streamline these workflows and reduce process friction, lowering costs for issuers, investors, bond arrangers and custodians.
15 November 2019 - SEC announces Master Blueprint for Thai Capital Market to kick off DLT platform with corporate bond as pilot project
The SEC has announced the Master Blueprint for Thai capital market, which includes the launch of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) as the new digital platform for capital market transactions to increase efficiency, reduce costs and facilitate market accessibility. The DLT pilot project will apply to corporate bond business.
“The Master Blueprint contains the overview of how the Thai capital market can apply DLT to various processes, from issuance and offering for sale in the primary and secondary markets to post-offering processes related to corporate bonds, SME shares, mutual funds and derivatives. The new digital platform also covers clearing and settlement, register of instrument holders, custody of instruments, and payment of interest or dividends.
23 November 2018 - Sberbank, NSD and MTS close deal on commercial bond issue using blockchain
Sberbank, the National Settlement Depository (NSD) and MTS have summed up results of the deal to issue commercial bonds using blockchain. The nominal cost of MTS’s RUB 750 mln commercial bonds, organised and purchased by the corporate and investment banking business of Sberbank, was redeemed. A security deal using smart contracts – from issue to full execution of issuer’s obligations to the investor – was successfully carried out. Commercial bonds are privately-traded unsecured fixed income securities that are placed on the OTC market through a private subscription. Prior to the transaction, a complete delivery versus payment settlement model was created using blockchain, which allows securities and money to be transferred simultaneously. The option to dynamically change the list of participants was added to work with a wide range of investors, and the latest version of Hyperledger Fabric was used.
The NSD allowed the parties to use its blockchain platform – based on Hyperledger Fabric 1.1 – to carry out the transaction. The issuer, NSD and investor had access to the decentralised platform to carry out the deal. During the project, the confidentiality of work with accounts was provided, and special aspects of Russian law were taken into account.
10 October 2018 - ING’s Katana Lens sharpens investor decisions on bonds
ING is continuing to improve decision-making in bond trading. On 10 October, the bank announced Katana Lens, an artificial intelligence (AI) tool that helps investors to easily find and compare interesting trade ideas. Co-created with Dutch pension fund PGGM, Katana Lens is a web-based application that uses predictive analytics to help bond investors make faster and sharper decisions within minutes.
Katana is the result of intensive research and development by ING’s Financial Markets Global Credit Trading team in London and the Wholesale Banking Advanced Analytics team. The first results of testing Katana with the emerging markets (EM) desk in London show faster pricing decisions for 90% of trades; reduction in trading cost by 25%; and traders are able to offer clients the best price four times more frequently.
16 May 2018 - Sberbank CIB and MTS issue bonds with settlement in roubles using smart contracts via NSD blockchain platform
Sberbank CIB, the corporate and investment banking business of Sberbank, MTS, a leading Russian telecoms operator, and the National Settlement Depository (NSD) have placed commercial rouble-denominated bonds using smart contracts. The NSD allowed the parties to use its blockchain platform – based on Hyperledger Fabric 1.1 – to carry out the transaction. The MTS bond issue, which is worth RUB 750 bln and has a maturity of six months, was organised by Sberbank CIB.
The bond placement, circulation and record keeping process is highly transparent as the system only operates using digitalised assets. Each participant can exchange documents online and track the status of the transaction. Settlements are carried out in the ledger system, which considerably speeds up the transaction. The cryptographic protection scheme allows all operations to be carried out electronically using the electronic signatures held by clients of Moscow Exchange Group. The source code of the smart contracts can be found on Github and is publically available in compliance with the Hyperledger project, which Sberbank and the Moscow Exchange Group have participated in since 2016.
10 January 2018 - BNP Paribas Asset Management successfully completed a full end-to-end fund transaction test late last year, using blockchain technology
The test has been conducted leveraging on BNP Paribas Securities Services’ blockchain programme, PlanetFunds*, and FundsDLT, a blockchain based decentralized platform for fund transaction processing, which has been developed through collaboration between Fundsquare (a subsidiary of the Luxembourg Stock Exchange), InTech (a subsidiary of POST Group) and KPMG Luxembourg.
The test demonstrated that PlanetFunds is able to connect with other blockchains, opening the door to a new model of interoperability and marks a key milestone for fund distribution. The transaction included each part of the fund trade process, from delivery of the order to the processing of the trade.
27 September 2017 - SEB and Nasdaq to Build Blockchain for Swedish Mutual Fund Market
SEB, the Nordic financial services group, and Nasdaq, Inc. (Nasdaq:NDAQ) have announced a joint project to test a developed prototype for a mutual fund trading platform based on blockchain technology. The aim is to increase efficiency in the processing of purchases and sales of fund units and to create a unit ledger – an area which today is largely characterized by manual routines, long settlement cycles and paper driven processes. […]
The concept of the project indicates that, by subscribing to a private blockchain, the various market participants—fund companies, distributors and others—will be able to share a distributed database in which all transactions and changes are registered among all participants in real-time. The cooperation agreement entails that SEB and Nasdaq will continue to develop the technology with the end goal of creating a working prototype, which will be based on the Chain.com blockchain ledger.
15 September 2017 - SETL and four asset management firms are launching IZNES, the pan-European fund record-keeping platform based on blockchain technology
SETL and four asset management firms announced today the launch of IZNES, the pan-European fund record-keeping platform based on blockchain technology. The platform provides investors, asset management firms, distributors and wealth management advisers with easy and rapid access to fund units. The platform enables firms to enter into new relationships with investors, manage KYC processes, handle subscription / redemption instructions, and settle transactions and record positions.
Compatible with all distribution channels, IZNES reduces transaction costs, increases transparency, and optimises operational workflow. It will also enable new value-added services to be developed. IZNES relies on proprietary technology developed by SETL. To ensure the best possible service, the functional specifications were defined in line with user input and contributions. The initial version was delivered by SETL in July 2017 and validated by OFI AM, Groupama AM, La Financière de l’Échiquier, and Arkéa Investment Services.
7 May 2017 - First real blockchain transaction completed in fund distribution with FundsDLT
Natixis Asset Management, a leading affiliate of Natixis Global Asset Management, indicated that a pilot investor in a test of blockchain smart contract prototype successfully purchased shares in Natixis AM’s funds through the blockchain-powered fund distribution platform for fund managers, FundsDLT. […]
FundsDLT is the result of collaboration between Fundsquare (a subsidiary of the Luxembourg Stock Exchange), InTech (a subsidiary of POST Group) and KPMG Luxembourg. The platform is being developed to enable asset managers to sell funds through a new distribution channel, while significantly reducing administration costs and the time to process transactions for both asset managers and other asset servicers. FundsDLT intends to streamline a range of fund administration and order-routing tasks by using blockchain to automate several processes in a secure manner. The model is applicable to a wide range of funds and does not depend on the jurisdiction.
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