Swift is Not “a Legacy Incumbent that will be Doomed” by Blockchain

Swift will use its connections to make sure it's not bypassed in the transition to blockchain-based bank wire transfers.

The network handling the majority of modern international interbank messages, Swift (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication), is determined not to be left behind in the wake of the revolution that is unfolding in the finance world with the adoption of the innovation at the heart of bitcoin – blockchain or Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT).

Presenting at an event in Berlin, the SWIFT Operations Forum Europe 2016, the financial institution unveiled a proof-of-concept for managing the entire lifecycle of a bond trade, according to a report from the scene.

Damine Vanderkerken, head of R&D at Swift Labs, said: “Swift has been targeted in the press as a legacy incumbent that will be doomed by DLT. But we believe Swift can leverage its unique set of capabilities to deliver a distinctive DLT platform offer for the community.”

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Swift appears poised to use its vast network of connections to banks all over the world to make sure it’s not cut out of the loop when the transition to blockchain-based wire transfers occurs.

“There is a strong push from GPI banks to see how DLTs can be applied to improve correspondent banking,” added Vanderkerk. “We will specifically be looking at how we can leverage our considerable assets and bring something that has value to the community over and above what others could provide.”

Earlier this year SWIFT and Accenture released a paper investigating how blockchain technology could be used in financial services. As a technology assessment, SWIFT and Accenture identified gaps between existing DLT solutions and industry requirements.

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