European Banks Complete First Live Securities Transfer On R3’s Blockchain Platform

The Swiss-based Credit Suisse[1] and Dutch-based ING financial service groups have successfully completed the first live transaction of 25 mln euros (around $30 mln) in securities on R3’s[2] Corda Blockchain[3] platform, according to Credit Suisse’s March 1 press release[4].

Credit Suisse and ING transferred the legal ownership of Dutch[5] and German[6] government securities using HQLAX Digital Collateral Records (DCRs) on the HQLAX Corda-based collateral lending application.

The transaction was executed by transferring the proprietary rights of HQLAX DCR-linked accounts containing “baskets of securities,” instead of the traditional way of transferring the individual securities themselves.

The press release writes that this use of DCRs for transferring securities can “ultimately help enhance regulatory transparency, mitigate systemic risk, reduce operational risk, and help financial institutions manage capital more efficiently.”

Credit Suisse’s press release mentions that law firm Clifford Chance was also involved by developing a legal framework for a DCR-based transfer of the ownership of securities.

Ivar Wiersma, head of ING’s Wholesale Banking Innovation, said in their press release[7]:

“What’s really different is that [using digital ledger technology] gives the regulator the opportunity to get direct access to the ledger and see the entire digital history of the transaction, from where it originated to its ownership and attributes. In the over-the-counter environment, which is traditionally not that transparent, it could make the entire financial system more resilient.”

Charley Cooper, a managing director at R3, told Reuters that the successful transaction was “far more than a proof of concept in a fenced lab.”[8]

“These are regulated institutions in a real market and it is a unique demonstration that blockchain solutions are being deployed in commercial settings.”

According to Reuters, a ING Blockchain initiative representative said that the application will be live by the end of the year.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced a partnership with R3[9] in December of last year for using the Corda platform’s distributed ledger technology. In November of last year, ING released[10] a “Wall Street friendly” zero-knowledge proof that can confirm the accuracy of a transaction without losing its anonymity.