Bank of Ireland and BNP Paribas announce blockchain breakthroughs

Bank of Ireland and BNP Paribas announce blockchain breakthroughs

New use cases for the adoption of blockchains in finance are appearing every day, with Bank of Ireland and BNP Paribas the latest to demonstrate the disruptive potential of the technology

Working with Deloitte, Bank of Ireland has completed a joint proof-of-concept trial which demonstrates how financial institutions can combine the technology with their existing systems to provide new client experience and regulatory oversight at a lower cost.

The trial combined data from multiple systems across Bank of Ireland’s Global Markets division and associated functions to form an immutable, distributed, searchable repository of information across the full trade cycle. Browser-based views were developed for clients, relationship managers, and regulator, to provide enhanced views of trade position with the ability to conduct near real-time auditing.

David Tighe, head of innovation at Bank of Ireland says: “We are pleased with how our research with Deloitte has progressed to date and we look forward to bringing it to the next stage as we explore how it can be integrated further.”

BNP Paribas has gone one step further, announcing plans to run a pilot scheme conducted with crowdfunding outfit Smart Angels that will allow private companies to issue securities on the primary market and give investors access to the secondary market using blockchain technology.

Under the partnership, BNP Paribas Securities Services is developing a blockchain-based share register which will automatically register financial securities issued by SmartAngels’ client companies.

Investor payments will be processed immediately and e-certificates will be issued to them straight away.

Philippe Ruault, head of product for clearing, custody and settlement at BNP Paribas Securities Services, says: “This is a major innovation for the custody and account-keeping of unlisted securities. It also provides BNP Paribas Securities Services with the opportunity to test a solution that could be applied to listed securities markets.”

Benoit Bazzocchi, founder of SmartAngels, says the the standardisation of transactions and the enhanced security provided by the implementation will allow investors to trade their shares directly on the SmartAngels platform, creating a liquid secondary market for registered companies.

“At the moment, only a few thousand companies are listed on the financial markets in Europe," he says. "The integration of Blockchain on crowdfunding platforms will give hundreds of thousands of start-ups and growth SMEs fast access to low-cost financing from individual and professional investors.”

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