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全新的互联网金融模式区块链国际资讯

IBM推出的区块链结算系统,高盛、大摩入局

经过两年多的开发之后,外汇市场结算服务提供商CLS和IBM联合推出的区块链网络支付服务正式上线。

投行巨头高盛(Goldman Sachs)和摩根斯坦利(Morgan Stanley)成为首批使用CLSNet的公司。CLS和IBM表示,包括中国银行(香港)在内的来自北美洲、欧洲和亚洲的六家参与者承诺在未来几个月内加入该系统。

CLS技术总监Ram Komarraju对CoinDesk表示,该系统已经启动并已运行,他说:

我们匹配并确认了首笔交易,并成功地向交易对手方发布了一份净额结算报告。

随着食品跟踪区块链——IBM食品信托(IBM Food Trust)于10月启动,以及其贸易融资平台we.trade于6月底上线,CLSNet成为了IBM推动的第三个区块链项目。它是为数不多的几个大型企业分布式账本技术(DLT)项目之一。

IBM区块链总经理Marie Wieck表示:

CLSNet目前正与全球两家最大的银行合作,服务于一项主要的市场功能,这证明了区块链技术的不断成熟,以及它在实践中能够带来的价值。

填补空白

虽然其并不出名,但CLS为外汇市场提供了重要的渠道。它成立于2002年,通过“支付对支付”服务(即交易双方同时完成交易),降低了参与银行的结算风险。

但其新平台的目标是解决当前外汇市场缺乏标准化和自动化等问题。

例如,根据IBM和CLS的说法,目前相互进行净额贸易的参与者数量有限,即使是这样,通常也需要手动管理流程。此外,许多参与者并不净支付外汇交易费用,而是以毛额结算,这将使他们面临结算风险,并导致较高的日内流动资金需求。

摩根斯坦利固定收益部门董事总经理Adam Josephart表示:

CLSNet将提供非CLS结算交易所需的标准化和自动化。

中国银行(香港)业务部门总经理Barry Lo补充称:

CLSNet尤其会提高离岸人民币等非CLS结算货币的贸易匹配和支付网络的运营效率,并加强我们的风险管理。

目前运行的CLSNet适用于120多种法定货币,旨在标准化和提高外汇市场的净额支付水平。它是与买方和卖方机构合作开发的。同时,该平台支持遵守CLS帮助开发的外汇市场行为准则。

CLS首席战略与发展官Alan Marquard表示:

标准化和自动化的支付净额结算流程将改善日内流动性,降低成本,提高运营效率,并最终支持业务增长。

早期的探索者

CLS和IBM在Hyperledger上开发了CLSNet。但2015年初超级账本联盟成立之前,CLS就一直在试验区块链技术。

这些尝试最终发展成为CLSNet,在该项目于2017年9月公布时,美国银行(Bank of America)、中国银行(Bank of China)、三菱东京UFJ银行(Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ)、花旗银行(Citibank)、高盛(Goldman Sachs)、摩根大通(JPMorgan Chase)和摩根士丹利(Morgan Stanley)都加入了该项目。

从一开始,CLS就与IBM合作开发区块链解决方案。然而,今年5月,这家外汇交易公司宣布向另一家大型企业DLT供应商R3投资500万美元。

但Komarraju告诉CoinDesk,R3的平台不会用于CLS当前正在开发的服务,他说:

我们在R3的投资不会影响我们使用Hyperledger Fabric产品的未来发展,因为我们不认为DLT应该是“单一网络世界”。

我们相信业界将从供应商的选择中受益,这也是为什么我们选择与R3和IBM这两个关键供应商在DLT领域结盟。

与此同时,CLS与IBM扩大了合作。今年夏天,两家公司公布了一个名为LedgerConnect的独立项目。LedgerConnect是一个金融区块链“应用商店”,其提供基于分布式账本技术的服务,用于KYC流程、抵押品管理、衍生品交易处理和对账以及市场数据。

CLS, the bank-owned currency trading utility, and IBM have gone live with their blockchain-based payment netting service after more than two years in development.

Investment banking giants Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are the first companies to use the newly launched CLSNet, with six more participants from North America, Europe and Asia, including Bank of China (Hong Kong), committed to joining in the next few months, according to CLS and IBM.

Ram Komarraju, managing director for technology at CLS, told CoinDesk the system is up and running, saying:

“We have matched and confirmed the first transactions and successfully issued a netting report to the counterparties.”

Along with the food-tracking blockchain IBM Food Trust launched in October, and the trade finance platform we.trade, which went live in late June, CLSNet is the third blockchain consortium powered by IBM tech to go into production this year.

As such, it’s one of the few major enterprise distributed ledger technology (DLT) projects of any stripe to get this far.

“With CLSNet now in production with two of the world’s largest banks, for a major market function, it is a testament to the ongoing maturity of blockchain technology and the value that it can deliver in practice,” said Marie Wieck, general manager at IBM Blockchain, in a press release.

The launch of CLSNet, she said, represents “the first post-trade production deployment of blockchain technology in a global market utility.”

Filling in gaps

Though not a household name, CLS provides critical plumbing to the foreign exchange, or forex, markets. Founded in 2002, it mitigates settlement risk for participating banks with a “payment versus payment” service, in which both sides of a trade are completed at the same time.

But its new platform aims to solve current issues in the forex market, such as a lack of standardization and automation.

For example, a limited number of participants currently net trades with each other on a regular basis, and even when they do, often there is a need to manage the process manually, according to IBM and CLS. In addition, many participants do not net the payments for forex trades, instead settling on a gross basis, which exposes them to settlement risk and leads to higher intraday liquidity demands, the companies said.

“CLSNet will deliver the standardization and automation needed for non-CLS settled transactions,” said Adam Josephart, managing director of the fixed-income division at Morgan Stanley.

Barry Lo, general manager for the bank-wide operation department of Bank of China (Hong Kong), added that CLSNet in particular “will enhance operational efficiency in trade matching and payment netting for non-CLS settled currencies such as CNH [the offshore version of China’s renminbi], and strengthen our risk management.”

The now-live CLSNet works for over 120 fiat currencies and is designed to standardize and increase the level of payment netting in the foreign exchange market. It was developed in collaboration with buy-side and sell-side institutions. At the same time, the platform supports compliance with a code of conduct for the foreign exchange markets that CLS helped to develop, the company stated.

“A standardized and automated payment netting process will lead to improved intraday liquidity, reduced cost, improved operational efficiencies and ultimately support business growth,” said Alan Marquard, chief strategy and development officer at CLS.

Early explorer

CLS and IBM developed CLSNet on the Hyperledger Fabric blockchain. But CLS has been experimenting with blockchain technology since early 2015, before the Hyperledger consortium started.

Those attempts eventually grew into CLSNet, with Bank of America, Bank of China, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Citibank, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley on board when the project was unveiled in September 2017.

From the beginning, CLS worked with IBM on blockchain solutions. However, in May of this year, the forex trading utility announced a $5 million investment in another major enterprise DLT vendor, R3.

Yet R3’s platform will not be used for the current services CLS is working on, Komarraju told CoinDesk.

“Our investment in R3 has no impact on the future development of our products using Hyperledger Fabric, as we do not believe that DLT should be a ‘one-network universe,'” he said, adding:

“We believe that the industry will benefit from a choice in providers, which is why we have chosen to align ourselves with two key providers, R3 and IBM, in the DLT space.”

Meanwhile, CLS and IBM have expanded their collaboration. This summer the two companies announced a proof of concept for a separate project named LedgerConnect, a financial blockchain “app store” offering DLT-based services for know-your-customer processes, sanctions screening, collateral management, derivatives post-trade processing and reconciliation and market data.

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