Working group targets blockchain ‘definition’

The World Trade Board is aiming to provide clarity on blockchain technology.
By Paul Walsh
The World Trade Board blockchain working group has aimed to ‘define’ the technology in its applications in the trading world.

Published notes from the World Trade Board’s symposium this summer revealed the next steps for the working group are to develop a commonly agreed definition of the technology.

The group also plans to draft a list of open items, questions and concerns regarding the adoption of blockchain technology that will act as a reference guide.

The resulting list will also state the position of the World Trade Board on the role of blockchain technology in the trading environment.

Blockchain technology has been hailed by custodians as being the future of the industry with potential to streamline processes such as settlement, clearing and corporate actions.

The technology was a recurring theme during last week’s Sibos conference in Geneva with Peter Randall, CEO of blockchain settlement start-up SETL, calling for a mobile phone style network for the application of blockchain while also dismissing the notion of one ‘almighty’ blockchain that would be used simultaneously

Working group member and former blockchain R&D VP at Barclays, Simon Taylor, also suggested various implementations for blockchain technology while speaking at FinTech week in July where he dismissed the notion of blockchain being applied to settlement transactions while also calling it a ‘revolution in reconciliation.’

The working group also aims to launch workshops with financial institutions to illustrate the impact of blockchain on trade processes in order to capture the views of institutions rather than ‘convince’ them of blockchain implementations.

As a result of these consultations, the working group also plans to launch a central repository of information on the technology.