Crédit Agricole has taken a stake in financial blockchain outfit SETL, marking the bank's first equity investment in a third party financial technology company.
SETL was launched in July 2015 to deploy a multi-asset, multi-currency institutional payment and settlements infrastructure based on blockchain technology.
The bank's investment in the firm comes just weeks after SETL went live with its pan-European funds record keeping platform IZNES having successfully processed its first transactions. The IZNES platform was launched in 2017 in partnership with four French asset managers.
François Marion, deputy CEO of Crédit Agricole CIB, says: “This minority stake is fully in line with the open innovation strategy of Crédit Agricole CIB and more broadly the Crédit Agricole Group strategy. It paves the way for an industrial partnership that will contribute to the work already undertaken by Crédit Agricole CIB on the blockchain technology over the last two years.”
Credit Agricole joined the RippleNet platform in October last year with the intention of testing the firm's blockchain-based messaging system to improve remittance services from Switzerland — home of the largest group of French expatriates worldwide — to France.