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SWIFT to trial blockchain technology for proxy voting in Asia Pacific

Image Via Bank Info Security

Thu, 07 Mar 2019, 06:28 am UTC

Interbank payments network SWIFT has announced that it will commence a proof-of-concept (PoC) on e-Voting, using distributed ledger technology (DLT), in the Asia Pacific region.

The PoC, which will run during the first half of 2019, will be conducted in collaboration with securities software provider SLIB and the Singapore Exchange (SGX), along with Deutsche Bank, DBS, HSBC and Standard Chartered Bank.

The objective is to explore DLT potential in simplifying the current inefficient management of shareholder meetings and the associated voting processes that are often time-consuming and resource intensive.

According to the official release, SWIFT will conduct the PoC in its DLT sandbox testing environment. Deutsche Bank, HSBC and Standard Chartered Bank will join as participants, while DBS and SGX join as both participants and issuers.

Among other things, the PoC will test SWIFT’s capacity to host third-party applications in its sandbox and reuse its security and interface stack. It will also confirm the use of ISO 20022 as the foundation for standardising for Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) that expose DLT node contents to parties with direct access to the ledger.

“The expression of shareholders’ rights is often limited today by non-transparent, complex and inefficient paper-based processes. The emergence of blockchain technology is a new opportunity to look at improving these processes,” Lisa O’Connor, managing director, securities, treasury & standards, Asia Pacific at Swift said.

“It is also an opportunity for Swift to offer flexibility in the adoption of this new technology through the re-use of ISO 20022 based solutions together with a high level of security and resilience that our industry requires.”

Earlier this year, SWIFT launched a PoC to connect gpi, the new standard in cross-border payments, with blockchain enterprise software firm R3.

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