Julio Faura 认为今天银行于机构间的交易是很麻烦的，耗时耗力耗钱，占用了相当多不必要的资源。这也是我们为什么推动区块链，让整个金融市场变得更有效。
区块链本质上是一系列算法的集合，也就是类似比特币之类的加密货币（cryptocurrencies）。 这种算法可以“绕过”目前银行采用的中央账簿（central ledger）记账方式，直接通过计算机网络对交易进行电子化认证。虽然很多银行起初质疑这种技术的潜在风险，会给不法分子创造欺诈的机会，但是随着金融机构的广泛接受和应用，这些疑虑也在逐渐消散。区块链技术能释放上亿的保证金，根据奥纬咨询（Oliver Wyman）数据显示，去年的清算保证金以及相关花费高达650-800亿美元左右。
The Big Four BanksUnveil New Digital Currency
August 24th, fourof the world’s top banks have announced to together develop a new form ofdigital cash that is expect to become an industry standard to clear and settlefinancial trades over blockchain. UBS, BNY Mellon, Deutsche Bank and Santandernow partnered with U.K. brokerage ICAP, force to work on their first commerciallaunch of Utility Settlement Coin (USC) by early 2018. The USC is expected toprovide an alternative solution of financial market payment settlement viadigital cash linked directly to central banks.
The traditionalsettlement procedure in securities markets is handled by clearing houses, suchas National Securities Clearing Corporation (NSCC) wherein a settlement time ofminimum 1-3 business days for marketable securities after the execution oftrade is submitted. In addition to the huge time consumption that goes into eachsettlement, the procedure also involves certain proportion of risk during thesettlement interval by meeting the margin requirements for security set by anexchange.
The new system is aimed to decentralizecomputer network and streamline the current financial market through blockchaintechnology. This inspiring event terms a milestone for scaling the technology ascentral banks and regulators have confirmed its potential significance. With anincreasing interest and involvement of big banks towards the technology isevident,blockchain technology is expect to be widely adopted across the world’s largest financial institutions.
“Today trading between banksand institutions is difficult, time-consuming and costly, which is why we allhave big back offices,” said Julio Faura, head of R&D and innovation at Santander. “This is about streamlining it and making it more efficient.”
UBS says the USC could decrease the complexity and time taken to settletrades, cutting risk and improving capital efficiency for users, according to CNBC.
Blockchain technology is a complex set of algorithms that allowsso-called cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, to be traded and verifiedelectronically over a network of computers without a central ledger.While it wasskeptical of its fraud and volatility, banks are now joined up to address thequestions around a broad range of issues in settlement and clearance. Itpotentially releases billions of capital tied up supporting trades on globalmarket, and bring the cost of settlement and clearance down by $65B-$80B peryear, according to a report last year by Oliver Wyman.
Several incumbentsare rolling out similar digital-cash system that may be potential rivals to USC. A hedge fund-backed group, Setl, was established last year in London, alsocollaborate with the central bank and regulators in addressing the issues ofsecondary market in clearing house. Other top banks like Citigroup and JPMorganare working on their own coins, especially Goldman Sachs has filed a patent fora “SETLcoin” that facilitate extremely timely and efficient settlement.
The Financial Times’ Martin Arnold reported that “The utilitysettlement coin, basedon a solution developed by Clearmatics Technologies, aims to let financialinstitutions pay for securities, such as bonds and equities, without waitingfor traditional money transfers to be completed. Instead they would use digitalcoins that are directly convertible into cash at central banks, cutting thetime and cost of post-trade settlement and clearing.”
The coins are freelyconvertible into different currencies, would be stored using the blockchain, ordistributed ledger technology, allowing them to be quickly swapped for thefinancial securities being traded. Many banks and financial institutionsbelieve that Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies promise to change the mechanics of transactions.
The US Federal Reserve, theBank of England and the Bank of Canada are among central banks examining thepotential benefits of digital currencies. Certain concerns remain at thesecurity and the impact on banking stability.
David Treat, head ofAccenture’s capital markets blockchain practice, said the technology was stillat a stage of having “three to five years before we get things adopted at scaleand several more years before it goes mainstream”.