UK fintechs execute cross-chain pilot for debt transaction with banks

  • Three UK fintechs and two major European banks have successfully conducted a proof of concept showcasing the benefits of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) in offering near-instant settlement in capital markets and payments – the first cross-chain pilot debt transaction on public Ethereum and Fnality Payment System
  • Fnality is one step closer to the 2022 launch of their first Fnality Payment System (FnPS), which will enable wholesale payments in real time with near instant settlement in a central bank money-backed digital cash asset
  • Nivaura provided the automated workflow platform and integration with public DLT for asset creation, settlement and payment administration
  • The Ecosystem TestNet that facilitated the payment leg was developed in collaboration with Adhara
  • NatWest acted as dealer and issuer in the pilot, with Santander fulfilling the role of investor

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 tokenized 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 tokenized 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.

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. This pilot transaction is a major step in the adoption of digital and automated technologies in the industry.

Fnality’s launch of its DLT-enabled payment system is scheduled for October 2022, and will be enabled by the Bank of England’s new Omnibus Account, which opens up the full potential of their unique distributed Financial Market Infrastructure. Adhara and Fnality have successfully launched the Ecosystem TestNet on which a number of business use cases are being tested – highlighting the benefits of utilizing Fnality and showcasing how new target operating models can be implemented by major wholesale banks.

Vic Arulchandran, co-founder of Nivaura, said in a statement: “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 tokenized 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.”

Fnality CEO, Rhomaios Ram, said in a statement: “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.”

Christopher Agathangelou, head of Digital Capital Markets & Flow Credit at NatWest, said in a statement: “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.”

John Whelan, managing director of Digital Assets at Santander, said in a statement: “The benefits of programmable digital securities can be maximized 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.”


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