Firms Complete PoC for Cross-Chain Settlement
Posted by Colin Lambert. Last updated: February 10, 2022
Three UK Fintechs, in collaboration with NatWest and Santander, have 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.
Distributed payments systems provider Fnality partnered with Nivaura – a developer 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 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.
Fnality says the TestNet is an early working and live example of how its 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.
“After much recent hard work in collaboration with our blockchain partners at Adhara, the Fnality Ecosystem TestNet finally allows us to proudly introduce our structure for DLT-based payments and settlements ahead of live operation,” says Rhomaios Ram, CEO of Fnality. “This early phase of testing under specific use cases for Santander and NatWest promotes the exploration of multiple system benefits, allowing those within the Fnality consortium – and those who stand to gain outside it – to examine how the technology will work to deliver speed, cost and risk benefits, while also defining workflows for the future. With the help of Adhara and industry partners like Nivaura, the creation and implementation of this TestNet will aid us in demonstrating the key capabilities of Fnality Payment Systems and providing a practical window into the future market structure they will enable.”
Dr. Vic Arulchandran, co-founder of Nivaura, adds. “This POC builds on our ethos of innovation in primary capital markets, particularly as the first firm to use DLT to issue and settle the world’s first legally compliant tokenised securities on public blockchain. Partnering with Fnality on this POC enables us to extend our previous work to test the potential benefits of entirely DLT based settlement of digital assets with central bank money-like digital cash. As we move forward and collaborate with other innovative firms like Fnality, Santander and NatWest, we will continue to work under the governance of the FCA and other regulators, law firms, market infrastructure and capital markets firms to ensure that the banking ecosystem is involved in shaping the future of primary capital markets.”
As far as the banks are concerned, Christopher Agathangelou, head of digital capital markets and flow credit at NatWest, says, “Financial markets are increasingly embracing distributed ledger technology and NatWest will always advocate for innovation and market standardisation in line with our values and the interests of our customers. Distributed ledgers and digital assets will help level the playing field by lowering the barriers to entry to financial markets for both large frequent issuers and smaller enterprises.”
Meanwhile, John Whelan, managing director of digital assets at Santander, says, “The benefits of programmable digital securities can be maximised by incorporating programmable digital cash for settlement and the entire post-trade lifecycle leading to many efficiency gains and bring enormous amounts of innovation to the capital markets.”