New paper analyses the opportunities and challenges of distributed ledger technology in financial services; identifies key factors for success
London, 20 April 2016 – SWIFT announces today the availability of a new paper investigating how Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLTs) could be used in financial services. Published in collaboration with Accenture, the paper is based on an in-depth technology assessment by SWIFT of DLT usage across financial institutions, highlighting the opportunities as well as the challenges for industry wide adoption.
As a result of the technology assessment, SWIFT and Accenture identified gaps between existing DLT solutions and industry requirements, including eight critical factors that need to be addressed for the technology to achieve industry-wide adoption. The paper also highlights SWIFT’s research and development plans to build technical, operational and business capabilities with a view to evolve its platform such that DLT-based services could be offered, when the technology matures and business use cases emerge across multiple verticals.
“Since the emergence of DLTs, the financial services industry has been looking for answers to questions about the potential use of these new technologies,” says Fabian Vandenreydt, Head of Securities, Innotribe and the SWIFT Institute, SWIFT. “The technology assessment has given us valuable insights into the necessary requirements for DLTs to succeed in financial services. It provides a clear state-of-play, outlining the different factors the technology needs to address, and the current maturity of DLTs in each of these areas. 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.”
Based on the assessment, the eight critical factors that need to be addressed for industry wide adoption of DLTs include:
- Strong governance
- Data controls
- Compliance with regulatory requirements
- Identity framework
- Security and cyber defence
David Treat, a managing director and global head of Accenture’s Capital Markets Blockchain practice says: “The financial services industry is moving from an educational phase, into an application phase when it comes to DLTs. We now have a strong understanding of DLT and its benefits, but we need to identify which areas are best suited, as the technology will not be a silver bullet to solve all business issues. The SWIFT and Accenture paper provides the industry with a blueprint for reaching the next step in identifying how to apply DLTs.”
With a goal for wide-spread industry adoption, and as a Board Member of the Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger project – a key industry initiative on DLTs – SWIFT will continue to collaborate with the wider financial industry to evolve open source blockchain technology and build the foundation of a production grade DLT. Innotribe, SWIFT’s innovation arm, will also continue to facilitate collaboration between established financial institutions and financial technology companies on proof of concepts that could lead to tangible DLT solutions for the industry.
For more information about SWIFT’s position on DLTs or to download a copy of the paper:
SWIFT is a global member-owned cooperative and the world’s leading provider of secure financial messaging services.
We provide our community with a platform for messaging and standards for communicating, and we offer products and services to facilitate access and integration, identification, analysis and financial crime compliance.
Our messaging platform, products and services connect more than 11,000 banking and securities organisations, market infrastructures and corporate customers in more than 200 countries and territories, enabling them to communicate securely and exchange standardised financial messages in a reliable way. As their trusted provider, we facilitate global and local financial flows, support trade and commerce all around the world; we relentlessly pursue operational excellence and continually seek ways to lower costs, reduce risks and eliminate operational inefficiencies.
Headquartered in Belgium, SWIFT’s international governance and oversight reinforces the neutral, global character of its cooperative structure. SWIFT’s global office network ensures an active presence in all the major financial centres.
To find out more about SWIFT’s work on distributed ledger technologies, please contact DLT@swift.com
+44 (0)20 7426 9400
Accenture is a leading global professional services company, providing a broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations. Combining unmatched experience and specialized skills across more than 40 industries and all business functions – underpinned by the world’s largest delivery network – Accenture works at the intersection of business and technology to help clients improve their performance and create sustainable value for their stakeholders. With approximately 373,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries,