As the hype surrounding distributed ledger technology continues to build, Swift is acknowledging the inevitable and promising to evolve its platform to enable DLT-based services - but only when a series of "critical factors" have been addressed.
Swift has been forced to face up to the emerging threat to its franchise posed by blockchain startups and collaborative initiatives such as the interoperable standards-setting effort under development by the R3 blockchain consortium.
The messaging network has signed up as a board member of the Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger project and vowed to work with the industry to build the foundation for production-grade distributed ledger technology (DLT).
In a new paper, published with Accenture, Swift says that it plans to build technical, operational and business capabilities so that its platform can be used to offer DLT-based services, but stresses that this will only be "when the technology matures and business use cases emerge across multiple verticals".
The paper highlights eight "critical factors" that need to be addressed before industry-wide adoption of the technology can happen: strong governance, data controls, compliance and regulatory requirements, standardisation, identity framework, security and cyber defence, reliability, and scalability.
Fabian Vandenreydt, head, securities, Innotribe and the Swift Institute, Swift, says: "Swift is committed working with its community to identify areas in which the technology can provide the greatest benefits, evolving at a pace that works for each customer."
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