40 Banks Trial Commercial Paper Trading in Latest R3 Blockchain Test

(@mpmcsweeney) | Published on March 3, 2016 at 01:08 BST
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A consortium of financial institutions led by startup R3CEV has completed a trial of five different blockchain solutions.

The blockchain concepts tests were presented by Eris Industries, Ethereum, IBM, Intel and Chain, according to reports by Reuters and The Wall Street Journal. Preparations began early last month, culminating with the test during the last two weeks of February.

Forty banks took part, drawn from the collection of banks that have thrown their support behind the R3-led consortium. A number of those banks have launched trials of their own in addition to the work conducted as part of R3. Cloud infrastructure was reportedly provided by Amazon, Microsoft and IBM.

The test comes in the wake of a smaller trial conducted in January. Eleven banks took part in that test, leveraging the Microsoft Azure blockchain-as-a-service platform to use a version of the Ethereum network. Future tests are expected to take place with the involvement of government regulators.

Eris Industries COO Preston Byrne told CoinDesk that one element of the most recent test was the use of a blockchain network to facilitate the exchange of debt instruments.

"[Participants] modeled a financial asset, commercial paper, a short-term debt instrument. You can create it, you can buy and sell it and you can redeem it. It's a short life cycle for that instrument,” he said, adding:

"We were asked to model a series of smart contracts that were a template for commercial paper transactions."

Chain CEO Adam Ludwin told CoinDesk that his startup worked closely with the member banks to leverage its development sandbox for the offering, and that it ended up with an end-product he described as "involved and extensive".

"We gave all 40 banks a separate node which formed a network for this use case, and each node had an application for a user interface and login and web browser to issue, trade, transfer and redeem commercial paper," he explained.

Ludwin suggested that banks were likely to evaluate the technologies provided by participants, with those with the most strategic interest in the proof-of-concept perhaps deciding to take it further.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the goal of the test was to give those banks an opportunity to compare and contrast different blockchain offerings on the market today.

"It’s not clear there’s a well-defined playbook in how to evaluate these technologies side by side. We want to help bring that clarity," R3 managing editor Tim Grant told the publication.

Image via Shutterstock

ChainErisEthereumIBMIntelR3CEV

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