Blockchain Services Firm Secures Investment From Analytics Company IHS Markit

Blockchain, Investing, News | February 1, 2019 By:

London-based global information provider IHS Markit has made an undisclosed investment in blockchain-based foreign exchange trading post-trade processor Cobalt.

Founded by former bankers in 2015, Cobalt is a private peer-to-peer network that uses blockchain technology designed to reduce risk and cut post-trade costs. The company claims that its platform can reduce reconciliation and operational costs by up to 80%.

As part of the investment, IHS Markit’s subsidiary MarkitSERV will collaborate with Cobalt to offer a shared post-trade infrastructure designed to replace legacy technology and manual processes, and bring increased efficiency and reduced operational risk to the foreign exchange market. The collaboration will bring together MarkitSERV’s global network of over 800 FX counter-parties and venues and Cobalt’s advanced back and middle office platform. The firm’s said the integration is already complete, with trade data flowing from customers and trading venues via MarkitSERV into the Cobalt platform.

Chris Leaver, managing director and head of FX at MarkitSERV, said that the majority of the FX industry is already integrated with the MarkitSERV network and that they now offer the community turn-key access to the Cobalt platform and the opportunity to radically streamline post-trade workflows.

“This collaboration marks the start of a major transformation in FX infrastructure,” said Leaver. “This partnership is a natural extension of MarkitSERV’s core strategy of centralizing and normalizing post-trade processing across all asset classes.”

Adrian Patten, co-founder and chairman of Cobalt, said that joining forces with IHS Markit will allow them to rapidly scale their solution and deliver a “state-of-the-art shared middle and back office infrastructure to the global FX community, dramatically improving efficiency across the board.”

“For too long, FX has been burdened by an aging, inefficient post-trade environment,” Patten said. “Our high-performance technology has been designed to replace legacy infrastructure and inefficient processes, as well as significantly slash cost and risk for this five trillion dollar a day market.”