Several financial institutions s such as JP Morgan and Credit Suisse revealed some of their blockchain-related activities this week. Here are the cryptocurrency highlights of week 39:
- Financial innovation company R3, Intel and eight R3 consortium member banks have successfully tested a distributed ledger prototype for bond transactions using Intel technology. The platform featured advanced smart contract functionality, enabling trading, matching and settlement of US treasury bonds on-chain, as well as automated coupon payments and redemption based on network time and third-party data sources. Additional features included an on-chain identity registry to facilitate the permissioning of validators and transactors, and the association of those roles to different organisations.
- JP Morgan, America’s largest bank with total assets of $2.35 trillion, is building a private blockchain based on ethereum according to a recently published presentation. JP Morgan’s Quorum, built in partnership with EthLab, co-founded by Jeffrey Wilcke, an Ethereum core developer, is “a minimalistic fork of the Go Ethereum client” and a “derivative of Go Ethereum.” It allows for hundreds of transactions per second, according to the presentation, and increased privacy as smart contracts can be validated by only parties to the contract.
- UBS Group AG, after experimenting with blockchain technology for about two years, plans to build a trade finance system that uses distributed ledgers to streamline import-export transactions globally. Having to manage multiple hand-offs, many of which rely on the exchange of paper documents, makes trade finance an area ripe for such streamlining according to Alex Batlin, senior innovation manager at UBS.
- Credit Suisse is joining smart contracts engine Symbiont to R3, the distributed ledger banking consortium, to create a proof of concept around syndicated loans. The project uses technology solutions from Synaps Loans LLC, a recently formed partnership combining Symbiont’s leading smart contract technology with Ipreo’s new business process solution to speed loan trade settlement. Emmanuel Aidoo, head of the distributed ledger and blockchain effort at Credit Suisse, said: “This demonstration sets us on a path to increase efficiency and reduce costs, which will benefit banks and clients alike.
- The price of Bitcoin increased by almost two percent this week to a current rate of about $614 per BTC. The price of Ethereum gained a similar percentage, resulting in a rate of $13.11 per ETH. Ethereum Classic on the other hand lost more than three percent, taking the price $1.20 per ETC. Monero completely crashed this week, losing more than 30 percent to a rate of $7.44 per XMR.