An Italian blockchain project, involving fourteen of the pizza-loving country’s banks, is moving ahead after a successful initial testing phase. Companies participating in the Spunta Project, which is being spearheaded by Abi Lab, will now be working with the blockchain system on a daily basis.
If you’ve spent the last 12-months holidaying on Mars, you may have missed blockchain technology taking front and center stage of the financial services industry’s ‘zeitgeist.’ The big data and machine learning brigade, at least for now, have taken a backseat.
Many of the people involved in developing blockchain-based products seem to resemble snake oil salesmen. They shout a lot about decentralization but don’t have anything particularly special to offer.
Some projects, however, do deserve closer inspection. Leaving aside the hucksters, these projects could genuinely change how financial institutions do business.
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Abi Lab Blockchain
Abi Lab – a banking research and innovation center promoted by the Italian Banking Association – could be leading the charge on one such project.
As noted, the research center’s initial blockchain efforts have been successful. According to a statement released by Abi Lab, the first stage of their project involved uploading two months of data to the blockchain that they are using.
Given that the purpose of the Spunta Project is to improve interbank reconciliation, the data was likely related to the fourteen banks’ efforts in that business area. Abi Lab said that “the performances obtained are good” – suggesting that the data uploaded has enabled the banks to perform their necessary reconciliation actions.
As noted, the project has now moved into its second phase. This will see the fourteen banks involved in the project starting to use the blockchain system every day to perform interbank reconciliation tasks.
Abi Lab claims that its new system will speed up and simplify the process of interbank reconciliation. The research center says that this will be achieved by removing transaction discrepancies and by creating a standardized system under which different banks can operate.