SWIFT Institute Offers €15,000 for Blockchain Securities Research

Pete Rizzo
Jul 13, 2015 at 15:13 UTC
Updated Jul 13, 2015 at 23:53 UTC
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The SWIFT Institute is offering research teams €15,000 to investigate how bitcoin’s underlying distributed ledger technology could impact the global securities ecosystem.

The institute is a financial services research group backed by the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT), which provides a network for global financial institutions to send and receive information about financial transactions.

The grant follows the SWIFT Institute‘s call for information on the risks associated with bitcoin as a digital currency in 2014 and comes amid a broader shift in emphasis on the technology’s use cases.

In its call for applications, SWIFT cites experiments currently in operation at UBS Bank and Nasdaq as evidence of the increasing interest in harnessing blockchain technology for more enterprise-level financial needs.

Outlining the potential applications of the technology, SWIFT writes:

“Settlement of a securities transaction typically takes two days, often longer, to complete. Blockchain and the distributed ledger have the ability to securely and transparently move securities in seconds or minutes, with automatic clearing and settlement upon trade execution. The theory sounds impressive and desirable. But it is practical?”

SWIFT indicated it is interested to learn what the securities transaction lifecycle would look like on a blockchain, whether it would involve intermediaries such as central securities depositories (CSDs) and if any of today’s more widely used blockchains could provide a viable solution to the needs of global securities processing.

“What are the implications of having one part of the lifecycle on blockchain (say, clearing and settlement), whilst others may not be on blockchain (say, issuance or trade execution)? What is the impact on incumbents in the transaction lifecycle (eg custodians, CSDs, etc)?” The call for applications asks.

Those who wish to apply must submit a resume and bio and a description of their research project by 7th August.

For more information, read the full grant description.

Business meeting image via Shutterstock

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