A team from RBS took top honors at the Deloitte Digital #GoneHacking capital markets hackathon on Friday with a trading platform that utilises the Ripple protocol to handle integration with crypto-currencies.
RBS built on top of its existing FXMicropay service, which offers wholesale foreign exchange capabilities and automatic real-time deal aggregation to businesses in order to price goods and services in their customers' local currency, effectively shifting the FX market risk to the bank.
The team at RBS used the open-sourced payments and remittance network from Ripple Labs to add various crypto-currencies onto the FXMicropay service - those included bitcoin, litecoin and Ripple Labs' own ripples (XRP).
The team included Richard Crook, head of technology governance, Ben Wyeth team/tech lead, Robin Morris functional/data architect, Mark Hornsby, distinguished engineer, Farzad Pezeshkpour, distinguished engineer, all at RBS.
Outside of the core functionality of the trading platform presented at the Deloitte Digital hackathon, the RBS team also explored the possibility of using the Ripple payments protocol and public ledger to replace the existing banking and Swift-based infrastructure.
Speaking of the win, the RBS team said they felt the emergence of crypto-currencies like bitcoin, and blockchain platforms like Ripple, would lead to huge disruption in the capital markets and they, as a bank, wanted to be ready for that change.
The judges were unanimous in choosing RBS as the eventual winner of the two day hackathon commenting that the product represented the highest level of disruption and most closely represented the capital markets nature of the challenge. Judges included Simon Tasker, capital markets partner at Deloitte, Tom Zschach, CIO at the CSL Group and Liz Lumley, of Finextra.
While there has been a huge increase in FinTech flavoured hackathons in recent years, Deloitte Digital's #GoneHacking event was unique in that it focused on the capital markets. An area of banking, that some many argue, hasn't seen a huge amount of digital disruption.
Other teams that were awarded with gongs at the hackathon include a group from Temenos, who built a platform that allows banks to crowdsource for liquidity, a team from Deloitte Ireland which built a wearable device that tracks the stress levels of traders on a dealing floor and Signal Noise, who showed a visualisation platform for investment information.