IBM and foreign exchange settlement service CLS are building a network based on blockchain technology for testing new applications. Nine financial institutions, including Barclays and Citigroup, are already signed up to participate.
LedgerConnect will be an agnostic platform that offers applications provided by different vendors for a variety of services, such as customer compliance checks, sanctions screening and smart contracts. In short, it could look a little like an app store for banks, making it cheaper and easier for financial firms to use blockchain-based software.
Based on distributed ledger technology, it will be used by banks, buy and sell side firms, fintechs and software vendors to test the proof of concept, with vendors such as Calypso, MPhasis, Openrisk and Synswap already offering their services on the platform.
CLS and IBM have said they hope the platform can speed up adoption of blockchain by banks, as building and testing applications individually for each client would be too costly and time consuming.
After the platform finishes its testing phase and provides evidence of enough market demand, CLS and IBM hope to make LedgerConnect widely available to the industry.
Lee Braine, from the chief technology office of Barclays’ investment bank, told Reuters:
"Barclays is participating in the LedgerConnect proof-of-concept so we can gain an understanding and experience of a new network for blockchain applications – and also test some candidate use cases on that network."