CME Explores Logging Trade Transactions on Blockchain System

The Chicago Mercantile Exchange has filed for two patents outlining a blockchain system that stores and automatically executes financial transactions.

AccessTimeIconOct 16, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 7:02 a.m. UTC

New patent filings from Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) highlight how the firm might use blockchain to store and execute financial transactions.

According to two applications released by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on Thursday, the commodity derivative exchange may be looking into developing a transaction platform able to execute transfers automatically at times defined by the parties involved.

The two applications, which primarily differ in the specific language used to describe the potential invention, outline how the platform would be housed on a system of computer processors, utilizing a distributed ledger as the basis for recording transactions.

CME could use this blockchain to catalog every update, using unique cryptographic keys to identify individual transactions and modifications, thus marking every action committed by different parties involved with the data.

The system would be able to let party A know as soon as party B requests a change or modification to a transaction, allowing party B to choose whether or not to validate the change. If both parties validate the change, the ledger would update to reflect the confirmation, but if a party declines the change, the ledger would instead generate a rejection message.

While CME's concept is primarily focused on financial transactions, the system could be applied in other fields, the applications say – including with different regulatory or licensing agencies which issue certifications and licenses, such as passports, visas, and driver's licenses.

The ledger could also potentially be used to verify those credentials by allowing a third-party to check with the issuing entity.

Disclosure: CME Group is an investor in Digital Currency Group, CoinDesk's parent company.

Trading board image via Joseph Sohm/Shutterstock


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