Bitstamp Backs BCB’s SWIFT Alternative for Instant Cash-Crypto Settlements

BCB Group is launching an instant settlement network for cash and crypto.

AccessTimeIconJul 27, 2020 at 12:08 p.m. UTC
Updated May 9, 2023 at 3:10 a.m. UTC
10 Years of Decentralizing the Future
May 29-31, 2024 - Austin, TexasThe biggest and most established global hub for everything crypto, blockchain and Web3.Register Now

BCB Group, which provides payments services in Europe to institutional players such as Bitstamp, Coinbase, Galaxy and Kraken, is launching an instant settlement network for cash and crypto.

Announced Monday, the BCB Liquidity Interchange Network Consortium (BLINC) is a real-time gross settlement system that aims to do for euros, British pounds and Swiss francs what the likes of the Silvergate Exchange Network (SEN) does in the U.S. for big crypto clients transacting in U.S. dollars.

  • What South Korea's Latest Election Means for Crypto Adoption in the Country
    00:38
    What South Korea's Latest Election Means for Crypto Adoption in the Country
  • Hong Kong Approving an Ether ETF Could Be a 'Surprise,' Analyst Says
    00:52
    Hong Kong Approving an Ether ETF Could Be a 'Surprise,' Analyst Says
  • What South Korea's Elections Mean for Crypto; The Potential for Spot BTC and ETH ETFs in Hong Kong
    19:02
    What South Korea's Elections Mean for Crypto; The Potential for Spot BTC and ETH ETFs in Hong Kong
  • Would You Get Paid in Crypto?
    00:57
    Would You Get Paid in Crypto?
  • BLINC is now emerging from a pilot stage, going live with Luxembourg-based exchange Bitstamp as its founding partner alongside some 15 other BCB clients. More exchanges are expected to be added in the coming weeks. 

    “BLINC is a real-time, 24/7, fiat settlement network, made possible because the reach of BCB’s client network is now very wide in the U.K. and Europe,” said Oliver von Landsberg Sadie, CEO of BCB Group. 

    As a non-stop clearing and settlement ecosystem, BLINC members no longer need to use conventional payment schemes such as SWIFT and SEPA, the Single Euro Payments Area for the European Union, which can be slow moving and only operate during office hours.

    Sophisticated crypto traders and market makers looking for arbitrage opportunities can be stymied because it takes a day to load their account with euros, said Landsberg Sadie. And while the U.K. has an efficient Faster Payments Scheme, it’s limited to payments of $250,000, which is quite small when it comes to institutional crypto, he said. 

    “If you're a market trader in crypto and need to settle half a million pounds quickly, you're stuck. If it's at night, or even during the day, you're not going to get that kind of instant settlement,” said Landsberg Sadie.

    “BLINC is an appealing proposition for Bitstamp as it enables us to offer our clients a frictionless mechanism to fund their trading accounts,” said Chris Aruliah, VP of Banking relations, of Bitstamp in a statement. “The ability to move money instantly in the fast-moving crypto markets is crucial and gives our clients an edge when trading on the Bitstamp platform.”

    BLINC is also integrated with a token issuance and settlement system called the Digital Asset Shared Ledger (DASL), built on top of R3’s public Corda Network by a team of ex-RBS blockchain coders known as LAB577.

    Behind the scenes, BCB has a banking relationship in the U.K. with ClearBank, which also stepped in to take over banking for Coinbase when Barclays chose to end that relationship around this time last year.

    Without naming names, Landsberg Sadie said BCB has a number of other partner banks in Europe and Switzerland. 

    The barriers stopping banks coming close to dealing in crypto are gradually being removed, with some regulatory clarity emerging last week in the form of a letter from Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) allowing nationally chartered banks in the U.S. to provide custody services for cryptocurrencies.

    “I think it may take a little while for this to materialize,” said Landsberg Sadie, discussing the OCC’s letter, “but it’s very encouraging, particularly when paired with the news we saw a couple of months ago that JPMorgan would be providing banking services to some U.S. exchanges.” 

    Disclosure

    Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

    CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.


    Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk's longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to consensus.coindesk.com to register and buy your pass now.



    Read more about