Blockchain E-Voting PoC Announced By Banking Payments Network SWIFT

Blockchain, Innovation, News | March 7, 2019 By:

Global banking payments network SWIFT, in partnership with major financial institutions, will be conducting an e-voting proof-of-concept (PoC) using distributed ledger technology (DLT).

SWIFT will be partnering with securities software provider SLIB and the Singapore Exchange (SGX), along with Deutsche Bank, DBS, HSBC and Standard Chartered Bank, to conduct the PoC in the Asia Pacific region. They will explore whether blockchain can help simplify the currently inefficient management of shareholder meetings and the associated voting processes that are often time-consuming and resource intensive. Their goal is to eliminate complexity and errors through greater transparency and automation.

The PoC, which will run during the first half of 2019, will be facilitated in SWIFT’s DLT sandbox testing environment with Deutsche Bank, HSBC and Standard Chartered Bank joining as participants, while DBS and SGX join as both participants and issuers.

The PoC will be designed to test the deployment of a blockchain-based voting solution, demonstrate the viability of hybrid solutions based on ISO 20022, and confirm the use of ISO 20022 as the foundation for standardising for Application Programming Interfaces (API). The participants will also test SWIFT’s capacity to host third-party applications in its sandbox and reuse its security and interface stack.

Lisa O’Connor, Managing Director, Securities, Treasury & Standards, Asia Pacific at SWIFT, said that 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,” O’Connor 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.”

Jeslyn Tan, Global Head of Product Management, Securities Services at Deutsche Bank, said that they believe that DLT-based solutions have great potential for the securities services industry.

“We are proud to be collaborating with SWIFT, SLIB, SGX and key market participants on this first-of-itskind project in Singapore,” Tan said. “Sharing best practices and working closely with market participants will allow us to create a more efficient ecosystem, which will benefit banking clients.”