Household names in Switzerland, including Swisscom, the country’s largest telecommunications company, the Swiss stock exchange, Zurich Cantonal Bank, the country’s third-largest bank, and others, have formed a consortium to use blockchain technology for the facilitation of selling shares outside of a stock exchange, according to a translated press release. Project coordinator, Dr. Mathias Bucher, states:
“After a thorough assessment of the Blockchain platforms available today, we decided to go with Ethereum, and more specifically, with Ethcore’s Parity client.”
The project is prototyping blockchain-based real-life trading of “OTC equity clearing, settlement, and reporting,” chosen due to their low volume. If successful, they aim to expand to further assets, including “globally transacted financial products,” according to a Swiss news website.
It is not fully clear whether the project will use Ethereum’s public blockchain or a private blockchain forked from Ethereum. We tried to reach out to Gavin Wood, founder of Ethcore, who is to advise the consortium, but have not yet received a response at time of publishing. According to the translated press release, Bucher states:
“The functionality of Ethereum, and its developer eco-system creates a very robust base for what we are going to do. Parity’s efficiency and private chain capabilities are ideal for usage in a consortium context.”
On the regulatory end, the consortium is supported by Switzerland’s Commission for Technology and Innovation. Moreover, Switzerland is rising as one of the key hubs for blockchain technology, alongside London, California, Shanghai, and other centers. Zug, specifically, a small idyllic lake-side town with a population of just under 30,000, has been a preferred choice with many blockchain companies, including Ethereum’s Foundation and Xapo.
The town made history recently when the mayor announced municipality services will accept bitcoin payments indicating a highly welcoming and accommodating approach to blockchain-based innovation. However, there have been little, if any announcements, from the central government regarding blockchain technology and their regulatory approach to Fintech innovation, but considering the nation harbors what some call the crypto-valley, we can expect a facilitating attitude from central regulators.
Blockchain Goes Mainstream
As blockchain technology is now going mainstream with household names moving to a testing and prototyping stage, we can expect a number of blockchain-based products to hit the market as early as next year.
A showcasing of the opportunities offered by blockchain technology and ethereum’s blockchain specifically is to take place in just over a week when world industry leaders, bankers, visionaries, policy makers, are to participate at the biggest blockchain event since its invention. More than 30 projects are to be unveiled in just one day, with numerous announcements expected at Decon2 and even more during the blockchain summit.
The event is likely to go down as blockchain’s coming out party after almost a decade as the number of participating household brands is sufficient to state that blockchain technology has gone mainstream this year, at least with decision-makers. Moreover, Xinhua, China’s official and largest news agency, is a media partner and will cover the event. Therefore we can expect a new awareness and understanding of blockchain technology as we near 2017 and the invention enters a new stage.
Images from Shutterstock and Ethereum.