Do traditional exchanges see Blockchain as an opportunity?

Distributed ledgers technology also known as Blockchain, offers a new way to data management and sharing that is being used to propose solving many inefficiencies affecting the financial industry. Technology experts, Fintech start-ups, banks and market infrastructure providers are working on underlying technologies and its potential use in the industry. However the journey of such transformation may take long. In this post we will focus on the benefits and architectural changes Blockchain could bring to capital market, and some example from such appliances across exchanges around the world.

The potential benefits of Blockchain technologies could cover different process within different stages in capital markets. In order to expose why capital markets would pursue to Blockchain technologies its worth taking a look at the benefits across pre-trade, trade, post-trade and security servicing.


Blockchain technology will establish more transparency on verification of holdings. Additionally it reduces the credit exposure and making Know-your-customer way simpler.


For this stage, Blockchain technologies provide a more secure, real-time transaction matching and a prompt irrevocable settlement. Blockchain could also help automating the reporting and more transparent supervision for market authorities, we could add higher standards for anti-money laundering.


In this regard it eliminates the demand for central clearing for real time cash transactions, reducing collateral requirements. Blockchain technology enables quicker novation and effective post-trade processing.

Securities and custody servicing:

Distributed asset ledgers with flat accounting structures could remove some of the role which custodians and sub-custodians play today. Custodians’ function might change to that of a ‘keeper of the keys’, managing holdings data and ensuring automatic securities servicing operations are done correctly. To that end we could also add advantages such as common reference data, simplification of fun servicing, accounting, allocation and administration.

Nasdaq has become the forefront of blockchain revolution, they have and are currently involved with many blockchain jobs. To name these endeavors, it started with Nasdaq Linq blockchain ledger technology. Linq is the primary platform in a recognized financial services firm to show how asset trading could be managed digitally through the usage of blockchain-based platforms. Nasdaq has continued more to blockchain, showing that, it is working to develop a trial utilizing the Nasdaq OMX Tallinn Stock Exchange in Estonia which will discover blockchain technology being used as a way to reduce obstacles preventing investors by engaging in shareholder voting. The intention is to boost efficiency in the processing of purchases and sales of fund units and also to make a device ledger — a place which currently is primarily characterized by manual patterns, longterm cycles and newspaper driven processes.

Read more about Nasdaq activities in Blockchain here.

London Stock Exchange developed to simplify the tracking and management of shareholding information, the new system plans to make a distributed shared registry comprising a list of all shareholder trades, helping to open up new opportunities for investing and trading.

Read more about LSE and IBM activities in Blockchain here.

Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), is all about the replacement of this system that underpins post-trade procedures of Australia’s money equity marketplace, known as CHESS (the Clearing House Electronic Subregister System). ASX is working on a prototype of a post-trade platform for the cash equity market using Blockchain. This initial phase of work was completed in mid-2016. In December 2017 ASX completed its own analysis and assessment of the technology which included:

  • Comprehensive functional testing of the critical clearing and settlement functions currently performed by CHESS
  • Comprehensive non-functional testing (scalability, security and performance requirements) for a replacement system when deployed in a permissioned private network
  • A broad industry engagement process to capture users input on the desired features and functions of a replacement solution
  • Third party security reviews of the Digital Asset DLT based system.

Read more about ASX procedure here.

The Korea Exchange (KRX), South Korea’s sole securities market operator, has established a new service where equity shares of startup businesses may be traded on the open marketplace. The Coinstack platform will offer record and authentication options for your KSM by checking against client references which have already been provided to the platform by Korean banks such as JB Bank, KISA, Lottecard, Paygate in addition to others.

Deutsche Börse Group has developed a theory for riskless transfer of commercial bank funding through an infrastructure based on distributed ledger technology. By combining blockchain technology using its proven post-trade infrastructure, Deutsche Börse aims to achieve efficiencies while at exactly the same time investigating possible new business opportunities enabled by this technology.

Read more about Deutsche Börse Group activities in Blockchain here.

Japan Exchange Group: IBM had teamed up with Japan Exchange Group, which works the Tokyo market, to begin experimenting with blockchain technology for clearing and other operations. IBM says it expect the technology will reduce the cost, complexity and speed of settlement and trading procedures.


A Blockchain based capital market systems

A broad range of innovators are creating solutions using blockchain technology. The most common are active from the ecosystem of cryptocurrencies (and related tools such as wallets). These basically provide a form of retail payments. A variety of blockchain applications across fiscal services are being contemplated, particularly about wholesale payments/correspondent banking, trade finance and other forms of trade banking. In this post, we focus on programs from capital markets and associated activities like post-trade and securities servicing.

A Blockchain based capital markets system:

Agreeing and preventing datasets of financial obligations and ownership forms the simple core of capital markets operations. This generates the continual need to reconcile data with massive systems and procedure copying, leading to high prices and protracted time to perform tasks. Could blockchain be the structural change the marketplace requires?

If we started from a blank sheet of paper now, with accessibility to efficient, well-architecture blockchain technology, we would anticipate the industry structure and processes to seem very different. The listing of each security would be held onto a flat accounting basis – that is, with multiple levels of beneficial ownership in a single ledger. There would be no requirement to run data normalization, reconcile internal systems, or consent exposures and obligations. We would have standardized procedures and solutions, shared benchmark information, standardized processing capabilities (for instance, reconciliations), close real-time data and enhanced understanding of counter party worthiness. For privileged participants such as labs, we’d have transparent data on holdings, among many other improvements. To bring this ideal scenario to life, we put out under a stylized ‘capital markets utopia’ based on blockchains and smart contracts.

 Securities transaction

Automatically verifying that another has the means to finish the transaction. (by way of example, Client A demonstrably owns the safety on the asset ledger, and Client B demonstrably owns cash on the cash ledger). Client A and Client B collectively ‘sign’ the trade by applying their private keys to unlock their advantage or money, and then by transferring ownership to the recipient via their public key. The signed transaction is broadcast into the dispersed blockchain ledger to be validated and recorded in the next update, along with a simultaneous update to some money ledger used in blockchain.

Asset servicing

Actually, securities themselves could be unbundled so that the individual cash flows, and also the rights they encapsulate, might be moved individually. Mandatory occasions and distributions could be handled via smart contracts using blockchain technology, embedded inside the securities. Complex events can be structured as easy Delivery Versus Payment (DVP) trades between investors and issuers.

With horizontal accounting, the numerous custody layers are shrunk to a single function. Presently, a single security may be held in as many as five or six layers of custody (stockbroker, sell-side lender, local custodian, global custodian, CSD, etc.) each with their own accounting viewpoints. Here the advantage is held by means of a type of wallet supplier recording the last beneficial owner.

Derivative trade

The utopian set up for derivatives represents the largest change. In the first case, unbundled securities could enable new approaches to financial technology, allowing specialists to construct bespoke instruments consisting of individual cash flows which meet precise needs in terms of timing and credit risk. These tools could be financed by issuers promoting their own instruments that fit the cash flows they expect to achieve, in essence producing swaps without the need for balance sheet intermediation.

Additionally, derivatives with blockchain will be created as preprogrammed smart contracts, catching the duties of both counter parties (for instance, margin agreements or swap requirements).

(CCP) would continue to permit traders to net their exposures. Adding collateral into the CCP in the shape of initial and variation margin could be achieved either by escrowing cash on a money ledger, or by simply devoting funds held on other asset ledgers to some security ledger. Later on, if a central bank problems publicly available digital money on demand, it might allow traders to pledge that the eligible part of their inventory to the central bank and utilize central bank money security when trading.
The smart contract may automatically recompute exposures by referencing agreed external information sources that recalculate version margin. Inter operable derivative and collateral ledgers would automatically allow the contract to call extra collateral units on asset ledgers to encourage these needs. At maturity, a closing net obligation is computed by the smart contract, Along with a payment instruction automatically generated in the cash ledger, closing Out the deal.

A Basic Idea behind Ethereum’s smart contracts

The Ethereum platform was originally conceived in November 2013 with the goal of producing a more generalized blockchain platform, combining together the idea of public economic consensus via proof of work (or finally proof of stake) together with the abstraction power of a stateful Turing-complete digital machine so as to permit application developers to much more easily create applications that benefit from the decentralization and safety attributes of blockchains, and especially avoid the need to create a new blockchain for each new program. Sometime past blockchain protocols can be viewed as single purpose tools, such as pocket calculators, or at best multi-function tools like Swiss army knives, Ethereum is your smartphone of blockchains: a universal stage where, whatever you want to build, you can just construct it as an “app”, along with Ethereum consumers will be able to gain from it immediately without downloading some new special applications.

The design:

All blockchains have a notion of a history – that the set of all previous transactions and blocks and also the order in which they happened – along with the state – “currently relevant” information that determines whether or not a given transaction is legitimate and what the condition after processing a trade will be. Blockchain protocols also have an idea of a state transition rule: given what the state had been earlier, and given a particular transaction, (I) is the transaction valid, and (ii) what would the state of the transaction?

We can offer an example using Bitcoin . In Bitcoin, the state is the set of account balances (eg. address 39BaMQCphFXyYAvcoGpeKtnptLJ9v6cdFY contains 522.11790015 bitcoins, address 375zAYokrLtBVv6bY47bf2YdJH1EYsgyNR has 375 bitcoins…). The state transition function takes a transaction comprising a sender address, a destination address and a worth and asks: (I) is the trade correctly cryptographically signed by the sender, and (ii) does the sender account contain enough bitcoins to send? If either answer is unfavorable, the trade is invalid and cannot be included in a block, ie. If a block contains a transaction that is invalid under the current state, then that block is blown off from the network2 . If both answers are positive, then the transaction value is subtracted in the sender’s balance and added to that of the receiver.

In Ethereum, the layout is somewhat more complex.The state stores the contract’s code, as well as the contract’s storage, a key-value database.

A transaction in Ethereum specifies (along with other Information which will later be clarified as demanded) a destination address, a number of ether to transact plus a “data” area which theoretically can include any information (and also a sender address, although this is implicit from the touch and therefore isn’t specified explicitly). When a trade is sent to an EOA, or a not-yet-existent accounts, then it only acts as a move of ether, and serves no other function. If a transaction is delivered to a contract, however, the contract’s code runs. This code gets the ability to:

● Read the transaction data.

● Read the quantity of ether sent in the transaction

● Read and write into the contract’s own storage.

● Read environment variables (eg. timestamp, block Difficulty, previous block hashes)

Basically, one can think of a contract as being a kind of “virtual object” stored at the Ethereum country, but one which can maintain its own internal persistent memory, and which has the right to execute the very same sorts of activities and have the very same kinds of connections with other contracts which outside users may. An internal trade is a transaction created by a contract; such as a regular “outside” transaction, in addition, it has an implicit sender, a destination, a quantity of ether, and message information, and if an inner transaction is sent into a contract then that contract’s code runs. Upon exiting execution, the contract’s code gets the ability to return zero or more bytes of data, allowing internal trades to also be utilized to “inquire” other contracts for specific information. A new contract can be created either by a transaction, by placing the arrangement’s code in the transaction data rather than specifying a destination address, or from within of contract code itself via the CREATE opcode.

In simple terms, instead of enforcing one specific set of rules targeted toward one specific program, Ethereum allows users to write apps specifying whatever rules they want, upload the programs to the blockchain, and also the blockchain will translate the rules for them. On the people Ethereum blockchain, this contract mechanism has been used in many ways:

● As “smart contracts”  (like issuer-backed assets and ether)

● As registries for an on-blockchain domain name system

● As accounts that represent an individual and business but multisig

● As “software libraries”, allowing code to be written and published to the blockchain once and then used by anyone else

Smart contracts have their own addresses, and so can function as owners of electronic assets in the exact same way that users may; when a contract does “own” digital resources, that implies that (I) just the contract’s code implementing can send the advantage to another party, and (ii) each party that sees and can check the blockchain is aware that the advantage is under this app’s control.

For example, one can implement a trust-free trade of asset A for asset B by having the owner of asset A send the asset into a program whose code is roughly “if I receive asset B within 24 hours, I will send asset A to the sender and send asset B to my creator, otherwise I will return asset A to my creator”. The owner of asset B can see that asset A is under the control of the contract, and so knows that if they send asset B into the contract as well, the contract will execute the trade fairly and correctly. Contracts do not have “owners”; once the original owner of asset A sends the asset into the contract, they no longer have any way to manipulate the contract to get it back, they can only wait for either the trade to succeed and for them to receive asset B or for the trade not to succeed within 24 hours at which point they will automatically get asset A back.

A brief guide to Initial Coin Offerings (ICO)

Initial​ ​Coin​ Offerings​ ​(ICO)

The introduction of Bitcoin in 2009 gave us resources and infrastructure to transact primitive digital tokens of value (bitcoin in the event of the Bitcoin blockchain) over the open public internet without trusted intermediaries. However, so as to create new tokens one either needed to scale and deploy a new blockchain network (likely forked from Bitcoin), or problem tokens on top of an existing blockchain network like Bitcoin (through metadata encoded into raw transactions). The former was an uphill struggle due to challenges of scaling and achieving network effects to get a new blockchain, and the latter was challenging due to the complexities of trying to encode sufficient information related to new tokens into raw Bitcoin transactions. Neither model was perfect.

But with the introduction of Ethereum in 2015 arrived the the Ethereum blockchain not only provided the infrastructure for transacting primitive digital tokens (ether in this case) but also provided the capability for easily creating and autonomously managing other secondary electronic tokens of value within the open public internet without reliable intermediaries.

Applying this concept of smart contracts, which can be effectively applications running a top a decentralized network, tokens can be generated and allocated to users, and made to be readily tradable. This process of creating tokens and distributing them to customers in exchange for a network’s primitive electronic token (cryptocurrency) is called an ICO process, and can be viewed as a novel distribution channel for assets.

Not all tokens are created equal

This post Isn’t supposed to be an introduction to the technically rich world of cryptography, blockchains and consensus mechanisms, for which there are numerous excellent entry level resources. However, the key point to bear in mind is that secondary tokens are not like primitive tokens (cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and ether) that are inherent to the “structural integrity” of a blockchain network.

Open peer-to-peer worth transfer networks, for example Bitcoin or Ethereum, need to endure complex attack vectors within an open hostile environment – where all parties (hosting or accessing the community) are assumed to be self interested and focused on optimizing their own value. In this scenario the key question is how do all parties be incentivized to work for the greater good of securing the community while fulfilling their self-interest. This leads us into the real innovation of this blockchain network, the primitive token (or cryptocurrency).

In addition to being the subject of transaction between parties On the network (the users), the crude token is also used to incentive key parties competing to reach consensus (the miners) as quickly as possible on the state of this blockchain ledger (i.e. who owns what primitive token). The reward for securing the network and reaching consensus is either new supply of crude tokens or transaction fees. In this model, trust is made from mistrust through expending energy in the mining process, which makes the violation of the “sanctity of the blockchain ledger” costly and economically unfavorable to the option of procuring the system and being rewarded in the native store of value for the effort of doing this . It is a self-contained system that is simple and beautiful in its implementation, and requires no more controls and rules than are necessary.

Here you can see the core purpose and the unique nature of a cryptocurrency, and why it is fundamental to a blockchain network: cryptocurrency is the atomic element where the open public blockchain network is forged. On the other hand a secondary token, that is made in addition to a blockchain network, is merely a representation of some “property rights” that may (or may not) be external to the blockchain e.g. “real world assets” or access to products/services.

Inherent blockchain and its cryptocurrency to create and issue (through an ICO procedure) secondary tokens for any purpose, but this only uses the open public blockchain as an independent “custody or notarization” data layer.

ICO and token issuance

Among the most obvious and natural use cases for ICO based Secondary token issuances is to represent some form of conventional security e.g. equity, debt, participation in profit sharing, etc.. In addition to issuance, allocation and transferability being programmed into an immutable smart arrangement, one can also predefine a set of events like cash flow rules which could be triggered either at set times or by particular external events. There are a number of reasons why a public blockchain infrastructure is logical for the issuance and management of financial securities, which are mostly associated with custody regulations around how client money and asset are managed through their life cycle.

However, since the “offer and sale” of securities is in and Of itself highly controlled, many models have been devised by startups to allow the issuance of tokens through an ICO distribution version whilst not falling afoul of securities regulations. As well as the question around whether a token is a security or not there are also lots of other unanswered questions related to tax of capital gains and KYC/AML rules. These are a few of the regulatory and statutory financial considerations which are currently an ongoing area of development and appraisal.

Recent SEC investigative report, these aspects will be the most crucial on how ICO And the issued tokens are classified by regulators globally.

Three use cases of Smart Contracts in Financial services

Savings and upsides from decreasing syndicated loans settlement time

While the High-Yield Bond transactions are settled in more than three days, the settlement interval for leveraged loans frequently extends to almost 20 days. This creates increased danger and a liquidity challenge from the leveraged loan market, hampering its growth and attractiveness.
Since 2008, the global loan market has witnessed negative gain, whereas the High-Yield Bond market grew by 11 percent. We assume that smart contracts can reduce the delay in procedures such as documentation, buyer and vendor affirmation and assignment arrangement, and KYC, AML and FATCA checks, with the assistance of a permissioned ledger. With estimation that with the decrease in settlement times, if the rise of loans may be at least half that of their High-Yield Bond market growth (i.e. between 5 percent and 6%), it would amount to an additional $149 billion of loan demand on the industry. Such loans generally carry 1% to  5% of fees, translating into extra income of $1.5 billion to $7.4 billion to investment banks. In addition, operational expenses, regulatory capital requirements and costs related to delayed compensation payments throughout the settlement of leveraged loans will probably be decreased together with the shortening of the settlement cycle.

Read more about basic idea behind Ethereum and Smart Contracts here.

Mortgage business to benefit from adoption of smart contracts

The mortgage loan process is dependent upon a intricate ecosystem for the origination, financing, and servicing of the mortgages, including costs and delays. Smart contracts could reduce the price and time involved in this process through automation, process redesign, shared access to electronic versions of bodily legal documents between trusted parties, and access to external sources of information such as land records.

Our earlier study on banks back-office automation suggests that mortgage lenders may expect savings between 6 percent and 15% from business $149 billion added leveraged loan volume increase with a reduction in settlement times 11 client fills mortgage application with earnings, taxation and property details Are property documents valid and lien status in order? Reject loan application and inform the client credit mortgage accounts article verification of earlier measures calculation of the cost savings possible from the usage of smart contracts in the US mortgage sector register bank’s lien on land signatures confirmed and mortgage accounts generated customer signs the mortgage document in addition to the witness mortgage record created approved rejected credit history id check KYC & AML check check income and land LTV reject program and notify the customer mortgage adviser creates loan workflow and updates credit, id, KYC, AML information in bank’s loan workflow for mortgage origination predicated on sale of 6.1 million houses of which 64% are being marketed on mortgage mortgage loan origination cost for an average loan of $200,000 in the US (2015), minimum savings US$ 4,349.5 17 billion 396.3 (9.1%) 1.5 billion 1,528.4 (35.1%) 6 billion. These numbers, coupled with our experience and discussions with industry experts, helped us estimate anticipated savings for each of the processes involved in loan origination. For example, in the US housing market, almost 6.1 million homes were sold in 2015. Based on historical averages, 64 percent of them were bought by home owners with a mortgage. We estimate that minimal savings of $1.5 billion could be achieved by loan providers through the automation of tasks in their organizations. Further, economies of $6 billion could be achieved once external partners such as credit scoring companies, land registry offices, and tax authorities become accessible over a blockchain to facilitate faster processing and reducing costs.

We also estimate that loan clients could expect a 11% To 22% drop in the entire price of mortgage processing fees billed to them if smart contracts are adopted. The total of outstanding mortgage loans across the united states and European Union countries in 2014 was valued at $20.98 trillion. Based on the US mortgage market case, smart contracts may possibly save between $3 billion and $11 billion in the new mortgage origination process across the US and EU.

Claims processing cost savings at the motor insurance industry

We consider that, in the motor vehicle insurance industry, smart Contracts that bring insurers, clients and third parties to a single platform Also, third-parties like chargers, transport providers and hospitals — once They are part of the dispersed ledger — will be able to supply faster Support against promises to clients and can anticipate quicker settlement of claims. The united kingdom motor insurance industry dropped 3.7 million claims and spent $13.3 Billion in claim expenses and costs. We calculate that roughly $1.67 Billion, or 12.5 percent of their overall costs, might be saved by adopting smart contracts. Dependent on the United Kingdom motor insurance market, we estimate that each year $21 billion could be spared from the global motor insurance industry via the Usage of smart contracts. A portion of savings can be passed on to the Clients via reduced premiums on motor insurance policies. We estimate that the Cost savings amounts to a reduction of $90 on average on each premium payment In the event the insurers pass on each of the savings generated from smart contracts Adoption to customers, and $45 per premium in the event the insurers decide to pass On only 50 percent of economies.