UPDATE (12th October 14:17 BST): Comment added from Setl CEO Anthony Culligan.
Blockchain platform Setl claims it is now capable of processing 1 billion transactions per day, a figure it terms a “milestone” for scaling the technology.
The firm, which is building a private network of distributed ledgers that can settle cash and assets in real time, says its testnet can now match the volume of non-cash electronic payments made globally.
When announced in July, Setl’s network was handling 5,000 transactions per second, which amounts to 432 million a day.
The company said in a release:
“By exceeding 1 billion transactions per day, Setl is addressing one of the fundamental issues of legacy blockchains, which, unlike Setl, are not designed for financial markets and are unable to handle market volumes.”
While blockchain technology is gaining traction as a cheaper, leaner alternative to legacy financial systems – settlement, for example, currently costs firms $65–$80bn annually – bankers remain skeptical about the speed and reputation of open systems such as bitcoin.
According to the 2014 World Payments Report, the top 10 markets make 800 million payments each day, or 9,258 per second. By contrast, bitcoin’s blockchain can process under 10 per second. The technology also presents anti money laundering and know your customer risks for these highly-regulated institutions due to its open, pseudonymous nature.
Setl, like other ‘permissioned’ ledgers, is looking to eliminate these risks for banks by requiring all its users to be certified following due diligence. Additionally, regulators will be able to view real-time transactions on Setl – which will function as a series of ‘linked’ blockchains – with “full transparency”.
CEO Anthony Culligan told CoinDesk:
“Bitcoin is taking a particular journey, which includes it promoting significant social implications. This should be looked at as different from technology projects such as Setl, which are seeking to apply techniques to existing financial infrastructure to significantly reduce costs, revolutionise liquidity management and increase capital efficiency.”
The company, which claims to be in discussions with 40 key financial institutions, was co-founded by Peter Randall, former CEO of Chi-X – now the largest equity trading venue in Europe.
Culligan said Randall had achieved his success by creating consensus amongst a group of participants who would otherwise be in strong competition, adding:
“This is exactly what is needed to create an industry wide blockchain solution. Our mantra is to do to the post-trade world what Chi-X did to trading.”
Transactions image via Shutterstock