Blockchain? The real benefits for financial services are in Distributed Ledger Technologies


Whilst the topics of blockchain and cryptocurrencies continue to take up plenty of space on the financial services ‘gossip pages’, we believe it is actually Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) applications that will ultimately provide the real benefit for financial services firms. The greatest opportunity to introduce such technology is by utilising ‘smart contracts’ that align business processes between different trading organisations, which deliver efficiency and certainty in any contractual relationship, often removing the need for a trusted ‘middleman’. No wonder such use cases have provided the stimulus for developing the technology within capital markets.

Previous barriers to adoption of the technology have now been overcome, and the successful examples that are emerging are those that were being developed 12 months ago. For those who are wondering if they should invest time in this exciting new technology, we believe there is no time like the present since ultimately, there will be winners and losers, and there is a definite first mover advantage to be gained is developing your own working use case. The technology has now been proven, so now is the time to embrace the functional capabilities of DLT and rapidly bring new applications into production.

With this in mind, GFT have been working with the new DAML recently released by our partner Digital Asset Holdings during its prototype phase, since late 2017. DAML offers unique benefits to organisations and enables DLT solutions to move from prototype into production in a much shorter period than before. At the recent Synchronize conference in New York, we successfully demonstrated our prototype request for quote (RFQ) application for OTC derivatives, a practical and real-life working example of a smart contract solution that was built using the DAML software development kit.

Having developed the application in the GFT Lab and road-tested it at Synchronize, I felt the time was now right to demonstrate this exciting new technology further, so we have put together a quick video which shows our DLT solution, really working, right now! For those who operate in the world of OTC derivatives and the need to manage the RFQ process, I am sure you will appreciate the simplicity that our DLT solution brings to the table.

Overall, it is clear that although it is still early days for the launch of production-ready DLT applications, if the use case fits the current constraints well enough, and the benefits match up, then now is the definitely the right time to be accelerating your DLT programme!