A subsidiary of BNP Paribas Group has announced a partnership that will find it leveraging blockchain technology to enable private companies to issue securities.
Revealed today, the partnership finds BNP Paribas Securities Services, its asset services division, working with investment platform SmartAngels on a pilot the firms said would be launched in the second half of 2016, pending regulatory approval.
In statements, BNP lauded the effort as a "major step" in advancing crowdfunding. The project will see BNP Paribas developing and managing a registry for shares in private companies using the blockchain that in turn will automatically register securities issued by SmartAngels.
Smart Angels will serve as a secondary market for shares registered on the BNP platform, a move the partners said would make it easier for startups and small businesses to access financing.
The release reads:
"Investor payments will be processed immediately and e-certificates will be issued to them straight away. Financial transactions made via the platform will therefore be performed simply, quickly, securely and for a lower cost."
Philippe Ruault, head of product for clearing at BNP, emphasized his belief the program would accelerate trading in the private securities market.
"This is a major innovation for the custody and account-keeping of unlisted securities," he said.
The project is not the first that finds a major financial firm seeking to leverage the blockchain as a way to ease aspects of the private securities process. The effort notably follows Nasdaq Linq, a pilot designed to allow entrepreneurs the ability to issue and manage private shares using a private blockchain system.
BNP Paribas image via Shutterstock