Japan's Mizuho Bank and Fujitsu say that they have carried out a trial using blockchain technology to streamline cross-border securities transaction settlements.
The two month trial, which finished in February, was designed to see if using distributed ledger technology could slash the current three day time period for carrying out cross-border securities transactions.
Mizuho says that the current complex system, which involves a great deal of time spent checking the settlement instructions and transaction content for inconsistencies, leaves asset managers at risk of things such as counterparty bankruptcy.
While the use of centralised management has the potential to shorten settlement periods, Mizuho argues that the high costs involved make it "impractical".
The bank therefore teamed up with Fujitsu on its trial in the hope of building a blockchain-based system that can almost instantly share matched trade information in the post-trade process as data that cannot be tampered with, but without building a large-scale settlement system from scratch.
The partners built a blockchain-forming system in Fujitsu’s cloud environment, recording all the information from a confirmation as one linked block. In the system, continuously generated blocks containing trade information were chronologically linked as blockchain, becoming information that could not be tampered.
The firms say that the experiment confirmed that the system is able to shorten settlement times and they are now looking into how blockchains can be put to practical use.
This is not Mizuho's only distributed ledger work, the bank is also working with Cognizant to see if the technology can be used to secure record-keeping of documents passed across the group globally. The bank has also partnered with Information Services International-Dentsu (ISID), Currency Port and Microsoft Japan to test the use of technology in the syndicated loan market.
And financial institutions around the world are taking a positive stance on blockchain tech, with 70% of those quizzed by FTI Consulting saying that the expect it to positively impact their business.