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Eight financial firms have completed a successful test of a smart contract prototype built by blockchain startup Axoni.

Announced today, participating institutions include five banks (JP Morgan, Credit Suisse, Barclays, Citi and one undisclosed participant), two financial infrastructure firms (Markit and Thomson Reuters) and business consultancy Capco.

The months-long equity swaps processing tests were organized by Axoni to show that the New York firm's software is capable of handling complex post-trade services such as margin payments and corporate action processing. Further, the project was designed to automate the time-consuming lifecycle management and synchronization tasks behind single stock, index and portfolio swaps.

Though Axoni has already announced two multi-party blockchain prototypes this year, today's news is being positioned as a step forward for the emerging startup.

Axoni CEO Greg Schvey said in a statement that the tests demonstrate how a blockchain can be used to increase the efficiency of even some of the more complicated post-trade asset services.

Schvey said:

"Complex contracts, a distributed market structure, and replicated workflows across many parties make blockchain technology a natural fit for equity derivatives."

The increasing complexity of the tests is part of a larger industry-wide push to move blockchain applications past prototype hype into real-world implementations.

Multiple data sources

To conduct the OTC equity swaps tests, Thomson Reuters first integrated its ethereum-based BlockOne hosted wallet with Axoni's software. The integration provided the group valuations and market data such as equity prices and LIBOR rates.

Smart contracts were then generated using information analysis firm IHS Markit's MarkitSERV processing platform, giving the banks a "synchronized, golden record" of transactions, a statement said.

To supplement the expertise of each of the project members, Axoni asked that Capco review each work-flow from beginning to end to ensure there were no redundancies.

Capco's managing principal and blockchain lead Benjamin Jessel told CoinDesk:

"We’re using smart contracts in a far more sophisticated way than what has been done in the past."

In total, 133 structured test cases assessed the capabilities of blockchain technology equity derivatives with a 100% success rate, according to the statement.

In addition to testing the functionality of the smart contracts, the working group conducted 50 tests of the underlying Axoni Core infrastructure.

Disclosure: CoinDesk is a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which is an investor in TradeBlock, the parent firm of Axoni.


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