Global financial messaging service provider Swift is seeking to recruit other financial institutions to join its ongoing blockchain R&D initiative.

At a meeting at Swift’s New York headquarters last week, Stephen Grainger, Swift’s head of sales for North America, told an audience of banks, consulting firms and media companies that a major announcement will be made shortly regarding the program.

Grainger told the audience:

“There’s a framework for how banks will sign up to that and we’ll make a further announcement towards the end of Q1 about who will participate in that process.”

According to Swift, recruits will include banks with strong liquidity practices for its proof of concept (PoC), which is aimed at replacing the antiquated nostro and vostro account system of settling cross border payments.

The theory is that, by eliminating the dormant foreign exchange reserves held on the books of other banks, participants in the PoC will see a higher rate of return to shareholders since they are able to put the nostro/vostro capital into interest-earning assets.

The bank believes that following the release of its criteria guidelines, as many as 100 banks will join the project. The firm has also said it plans to allow developers to access this special program’s APIs during a hackathon this October.

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