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Financial Titans Collaborate for Landmark Blockchain Trial

In the ever-evolving world of Traditional Finance (TradFi), the exploration of blockchain technology has gained significant traction.

The latest development, however, stands out due to the massive collaboration between financial titans and regulatory bodies.

Visa, Mastercard, JPMorgan, Citigroup, and other prominent entities are teaming up for a proof-of-concept (PoC) project called Regulated Settlement Network.

The initiative plans to examine the feasibility of using distributed ledgers to facilitate transactions involving tokenized commercial bank balances, central bank currencies, U.S. Treasury bonds, and various assets.

Regulated Liability Network

The Regulated Liability Network was introduced in November 2022 with the aim of investigating how shared ledger technology can be utilized for regulating money movement on one platform.

The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) is set to lead the implementation of a PoC in collaboration with Swift, TD Bank, US Bank, USDF, Wells Fargo, and Zions Bancorp.

Lamine Brahimi, co-founder of crypto platform Taurus, supports endeavors that enable the transfer of vast sums of cash to digital currency networks.

The potential benefits of this blockchain project include increased automation, standardized data rails, cost savings, and transparency in financial transactions.

The financial industry’s interest in blockchain technology has been escalating, with various proof-of-concepts and tokenization efforts emerging in recent months.

Last year, as part of the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s Project Guardian initiative, JPMorgan’s Onyx executed trials to evaluate the viability of portfolio tokenization by fund managers across numerous blockchain networks in a permissioned manner.

Using JPMorgan’s Tokenized Collateral Network, BlackRock converted shares from one of its money market funds into digital tokens and applied them as security to Barclays for an OTC derivatives transaction.

The real benefits of tokenization will come when both the securities and the cash legs of a transaction are both on-chain

Lamine Brahimi

Under Project Guardian, Switzerland-based UBS announced the debut of a tokenized fund on Ethereum in November 2023.

More recently, Wellington Management’s private equity fund underwent tokenization at the hands of Citi on the Spruce subnet of Avalanche in February.

Industry experts believe this latest PoC is more significant than previous trials due to the institutional involvement and the scale of the financial players involved.

Colin Butler, global head of institutional capital at Polygon, said that the industry’s perspective towards contemporary blockchain initiatives has undergone a significant transformation.

This represents to me the five-yard-line for mass institutional adoption.

Colin Butler

Institutional investment in this space has occurred through experimentation or acquisitions of startups with mature technology stacks.

Securrency, a business focusing on financial and regulatory technology via blockchain, became part of the assets of Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation (DTCC) in December.

Last week, Securitize secured a $47 million investment, led by BlackRock.

The PoC will produce an analysis on whether the network could function under existing U.S. laws or regulations.

Findings from this analysis aim to inform “next generation settlement models,” according to SIFMA.

the confirmation of major efficiency gains

Lamine Brahimi

Brahimi anticipates that the experiment will confirm major efficiency gains by having both securities and cash on-chain.

The trial could lead to lower risk exposure for both parties and facilitate more efficient collateral exchanges among institutions.

Morgan Krupetsky, Ava Labs’ business development lead for institutions and capital markets, is encouraged by the diversity of entities involved.

She believes more participation from asset managers, corporates, hedge funds, and pension funds on the buy-side would lead to favorable consequences. Their buy-in and support will be critical.

People eager for advancements in legacy financial services infrastructure must be prepared to wait before realizing these improvements.

Through comprehensive testing and evaluation, financial institutions, infrastructure providers, and regulators will determine if investing resources to build products that use shared ledger technology is worthwhile.

Krupetsky emphasizes that this careful approach ultimately leads to building robust and effective solutions using shared ledger technology.

This collaborative effort underscores the commitment of major players in TradFi to embrace the potential of blockchain technology and reshape the financial landscape.

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