IBM And CLS Launch Financial Blockchain ‘App Store’
Announced on Monday, enterprise software company IBM and FX giant CLS have teamed up to launch LedgerConnect, a financial blockchain “app store” that aims to ease the process of using distributed ledger technology for banks.
With LedgerConnect, financial institutions will be able to utilize blockchain-based products and services including know-your-customer (KYC) processes, sanctions screening, derivatives post-trade processing and reconciliation, collateral management and market data.
Nine financial institutions have participated in the development of LedgerConnect’s proof of concept (PoC) including Baton Systems, Calypso, Copp Clark, MPhasis, OpenRisk, SynSwap and Persistent Systems. Major banks Barclays and Citigroup are among LedgerConnect’s founding members.
LedgerConnect bridges a gap that both fintech startups and large tech firms face; affordable and reliable access to blockchain solutions. This new “app store” aims to solve the issues of cost and complexity for firms launching their own distributed networks.
Keith Bear, IBM’s vice president of financial markets, commented on the initiative in an interview with Coindesk, stating that “having a secure network and proven infrastructure allows an app store kind of model, where banks can identify applications from certified fintech and software providers and deploy these apps over a seamless blockchain network.”
LedgerConnect is based, in part, on IBM’s permissioned blockchain platform Hyperledger Fabric. All the apps currently available in the store are also Hyperledger-based. That said, LedgerConnect aims to provide the service to other enterprise blockchain solutions in the future.
“We are not averse to supporting other ledger implementations, whether it is R3’s Corda, whether it is Quorum (provided these techs are robust and can meet the needs we have from security perspective etc.),” Ram Komarraju, head of innovation and solution delivery at CLS, told Coindesk.
Unlike other PoC projects, Komarraju says that LedgerConnect is in a relatively advanced state. “We didn’t start this on Monday,” he said. “We have institutions that have selected a number of use cases and these have been implemented and we are in the very late stages of proving the technology.”