SWIFT and Symbiont announce new pilot project
SWIFT joins hand with Symbiont to address the inefficiencies of the financial market
By Shashank Bhardwaj
The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) announced a collaboration with FinTech company Symbiont on Tuesday, September 13. The collaboration aims to provide more accurate data for financial firms using blockchain technology. Symbiont's smart contracts and blockchain capabilities are being used in this project to automate and improve the accuracy of corporate action workflows. In an official statement, SWIFT said,
"We’re collaborating with seven securities players – including American Century Investments, Citi, Vanguard and Northern Trust – to drive efficiencies in communicating significant corporate events. The project will trial an ambitious solution powered by Symbiont’s enterprise blockchain platform."
In 2017, Symbiont collaborated with Vanguard to improve price index data distribution via blockchain, consuming data from $1.3 trillion in funds at the time. SWIFT is testing Symbiont's proprietary technology platform, Assembly, as part of the new pilot project. SWIFT intends to leverage the more than 11,000 institutions connected to it globally. The pilot project's goal is to 'help providers distribute data in near real-time to global custody clients.'
Corporate action data from SWIFT messages is translated by SWIFT's translator tool and uploaded to Symbiont's blockchain as part of the new project. The information shared between participants is then compared by Symbiont's smart contract technology, which flags 'discrepancies, contradictions or inconsistencies across custodians.' According to Tom Zschach, Chief Innovation Officer, SWIFT,
"By bringing Symbiont’s Assembly and smart contracts together with SWIFT’s extensive network, we’re able to automatically harmonise data from multiple sources of a corporate action event. This can lead to significant efficiencies."
SWIFT previously collaborated with the Bank for International Settlements to investigate the advantages of using a common language for cross-border payments. Because of the rise of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC), the company has been working hard to maintain its relevance in the global economic order.
However, it has not been immune to hacking. SWIFT has been used by cybercriminals to commit heists. This proves that any system can be vulnerable. Symbiont's blockchain technology is designed to address these inefficiencies in the financial market. Most notably, Symbiont's Assembly platform promotes greater transparency by establishing a single, unalterable record. This provides a digital audit trail, privacy, versatility, and key statistical data delivery. Talking about the recent initiative, Jonathan Ehrenfeld, Strategy Director at SWIFT, said,
"According to our analysis, manual activities – such as data cleansing, formatting and interpretation – account for around 30% of the costs involved in processing corporate actions…That’s why we are collaborating with our community to deliver a solution that delivers accurate corporate action data to market participants in near real-time."
Shashank is the founder at yMedia. He ventured into crypto in 2013 and is an ETH maximalist. Twitter: @bhardwajshash