SWIFT, the operator of the platform that facilitates the global interbanking system has revealed a peek at its first blockchain offering, a proof-of-concept (PoC) discussed at its European Operations Forum in Berlin today.
As the bedrock of the world’s banking system which uses its platform for international interbanking messages, SWIFT has plenty to lose if the much-heralded Fintech revolution, championed by blockchain technology, fulfills its promise in disrupting the traditional financial services with cheaper, more effective and quicker operations.
Predictably, SWIFT has taken heed, as evidenced late last year, to research and develop solutions for its sustainability in the face of the bitcoin’s underlying innovation, by building its own blockchain platform for its member banks.
In quotes reported by Finextra, SWIFT Labs’ R&D chief Damine Vanderveken stated:
SWIFT has been targeted in the press as a legacy incumbent that will be doomed by DLT (Distributed Ledger Technology or Blockchain tech). But we believe SWIFT can leverage its unique set of capabilities to deliver a distrinctive DLT platform offer for the community.
SWIFT has shared detailed of its blockchain network, pointing to five separate nodes spread across the world, for its PoC tests. Nodes were installed in three participating banks in Sao Paolo, Frankfurt and Sydney, with two more nodes in SWIFT offices at California and Virginia.
The blockchain platform will also provide smart contracts to clients, written in Solidity, a programming language commonly used in the Ethereum blockchain. Further, the PoC will also seek to showcase its implementation in a bare-bones-basic setup to prove its simplicity, while reportedly adhering to ISO 20022, the established standard for electronic data exchange between financial institutions.
Additionally, Vanderveken added that SWIFT will be more involved and vocal in its blockchain endeavors here on in, with a 2017 roadmap for noteworthy initiatives to be revealed soon. Next year, SWIFT will be working with its member banks and other vendors to develop a blockchain sandbox, a part of the blueprint for its own blockchain platform.
SWIFT’s newfound enthusiasm for blockchain development comes despite its CEO showing skepticism for Fintech in late 2015.
This story will be updated with more details about SWIFT's blockchain as they're ascertained.
Featured image from Twitter/SWIFT.