SEB and Crédit Agricole CIB are jointly launching so|bond, a sustainable platform for digital bonds built on blockchain technology that rewards participants for improving their environmental footprint.
Through the platform, issuers in capital markets will be able to issue digital bonds onto a blockchain network, aiming at improving efficiency and enabling real-time data synchronisation across participants. The blockchain network is using a validation protocol, Proof of Climate awaReness, that encourages its participants to minimise their environmental footprint.
The so|bond platform will enable issuers to raise capital and manage securities through smart contracts, programmes that automatically execute, control or document events and actions according to the terms of the contract.
The technology is built on a new type of blockchain validation logic, the Proof of Climate awaReness protocol. It enables an energy consumption comparable to non-blockchain systems and incentivises participating nodes to continually improve the environmental footprint of their infrastructures. More specifically, each node will be remunerated for its efforts according to a formula linked to its climate impact evaluated with the Life Cycle Assessment ISO standard: the lower the environmental footprint, the larger the reward will be.
The platform and the blockchain technology were developed in collaboration with the IT provider Finaxys. The environmental footprint is measured according to a methodology developed by APL Data Center and applied by SGS.
Romaric Rollet, head of innovation and digital transformation at Crédit Agricole CIB, comments: “The platform’s innovative approach, both to the blockchain infrastructure and to the securities market, is coupled with the strong commitment to green and sustainable finance that is at the centre of our Societal Project. This is a key achievement, a part of CACIB Digital Transformation Acceleration plan, and we welcome collaboration to convert innovations into possible market standards that better respond to our clients’ needs in an evolving regulatory environment.”
The two banks say the platform is future-proofed to accommodate central bank digital currencies and will ultimately be widened out to other asset classes beyond bonds