After much deliberation, the judges are pleased to announce that BNY Mellon and Exactpro are this year’s Swift Hackathon 2022 winners. So, what approach did these winning teams take – and how did they find the Hackathon experience?
After the Swift Hackathon 2022 came to a close, the judges were left with the difficult job of choosing two winning ideas from the remarkable selection of innovative and creative solutions put forward by the teams – with 20 submissions in total, from over 150 participants.
This year’s theme looked at the future of digital assets – one of financial tech’s most exciting new spaces. Challenge One asked teams to consider the issues around interoperability – the integration of digital and traditional assets – while Challenge Two focused on digitally native asset ownership.
Congratulations to BNY Mellon and Exactpro, who have taken home the Swift Hackathon crowns. Hats off also to our runners up FortisNet and RegulAItion.
We spoke to BNY Mellon and Exactpro about their winning solutions.
Challenge One Winners: BNY Mellon
Achieving global interoperability has been hailed as one of the most critical challenges facing the fintech industry today. As technology continues to evolve, alongside the rise of digital currencies, and 24/7 instant commerce, solving the global interoperability puzzle around the future of digital assets was no easy task for our Hackathon participants.
BNY Mellon began by assembling an international team with a range of differing skill sets.
“When building the team, we were really aiming for a cross-section of the organisation to ensure diversity of thought and experience. The team considered several ideas before focusing on identifying a potential solution that could make a big difference,” says Abhay Navale, BNY Mellon’s Global Head of Digital Assets Technology.
“The solution to the interoperability challenge in digital assets must strike the right balance between the pace of innovation and scale of innovation at a global level, including bridging the traditional networks with digital asset networks. BNY Mellon’s proposed solution combines innovation from digital assets and financial market infrastructure.”
Participating in the Swift Hackathon facilitated collaborative working and stretched teams to create forward-thinking solutions. But how did Abhay and the team find the experience?
“This success reinforces the global talent we have at BNY Mellon and shows that we are at the forefront of supporting institutions in the digital asset space. The team benefitted from sharing ideas, diving into new areas of research, and learning from other participants, regardless of the ultimate outcome. The experience also brought us closer together as a team and allowed us to build on our core values of trust and innovation,” says Abhay.
For BNY Mellon, winning the competition is significant for another reason.
“As a bank with over 238 years of history, it feels important that we can show the world we are leading the charge for digital assets by building the bridge between the traditional and digital spaces to create a front-to-back ecosystem for innovation.”
Challenge Two Winners: Exactpro
The team from Exactpro used their experience of software testing to shape their approach to the issues of traceability of digital assets across multiple ledgers, on multiple technologies. The challenge saw them compete to solve some of the issues around digital asset ownership, particularly in light of today’s ever-changing systems and configurations.
So, why did Exactpro decide to enter this year’s Swift Hackathon?
“We do quite a lot of work in the digital assets space and collaborate with a number of clients that are trying to find solutions based on digital assets, tokens and CBDCs. So, it is one of the areas where we are currently seeing development activity within our clients’ software projects,” explains Iosif Itkin, CEO and Co-founder of Exactpro.
The team applied the same problem-solving approach they were used to in their everyday practice, to formulate their solution.
“In the software testing world, we encounter new problems and new systems on a daily basis. This was what drove our thinking; we realised that any solution we put forward that only accounted for the existence of current ledgers or token protocols would be out of date pretty soon,” says Iosif.
“We needed a solution for tracking digital assets that would be flexible enough to accommodate changes to protocols. “Our solution focuses on the idea that it might be necessary to not just pull the data about digital assets, but also have the ability to push information into the system,” explains Iosif.
And where do Exactpro see themselves headed since they were crowned winners of this year’s Hackathon?
“We will talk to our clients, and most likely we will use this idea as a proof of concept for them to consider. Putting our minds together to review, discuss and further develop our concept will certainly give them a better understanding of our abilities. This can potentially point us towards new ways of collaboration.”
The journey has only just begun
While the Hackathon is a great opportunity to bring innovators together, kick start the creative process and accelerate product development, innovation shouldn’t be limited to one event a year.
Whether you’re a bank, fintech, corporate or vendor, if you’d like to help transform the future of finance, we want to hear from you. Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.