IHS Markit has taken a minority stake in blockchain-based post-trade processing network Cobalt, embedding its MarkitSERV operation deeper into currency trading back offices.
Cobalt is among a clutch of firms bidding to use shared ledger technology to drive down reconcilliation costs and improve operations in the post-trade space. The firm's platform, set up by by currency trading veterans Andy Coyne and Adrian Patten, delivers a private peer-to-peer network that aims to slash back office costs in FX markets by providing a single, shared view of a transaction to trading counterparties.
The alliance with IHS Markit unites MarkitSERV’s global network of over 800 FX counterparties and venues with Cobalt’s back and middle office platform which uses a combination of shared ledger and low latency technology, freeing up back middle office resources from multiple layers of reconciliation.
Adrian Patten, co-founder and chairman, at Cobalt, says: “For too long, FX has been burdened by an aging, inefficient post-trade environment. Our high performance technology has been designed to replace legacy infrastructure and inefficient processes, as well as significantly slash cost and risk for this five trillion dollar a day market.”
The integration between MarkitServ and Cobalt is already complete, with trade data flowing from customers and trading venues via MarkitSERV into the Cobalt platform.
Chris Leaver, managing director and head of FX at MarkitSERV. “The majority of the FX industry is already integrated with the MarkitSERV network and we now offer the community turn-key access to the Cobalt platform and the opportunity to radically streamline post-trade workflows."
The value of IHS Markit's investment in Cobalt has not been disclosed. It joins with a host of financial big-hitters, such as Citi and the Singapore Stock Exchange, who have previously taken stakes in the business.