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Blockchain Pitched as Way to Simplify FX Trading Databases


By Declan Harty for Bloomberg

A year-old technology firm wants to simplify currency markets by streamlining the way trading data is stored using blockchain-based technology.

Cobalt DL, a London-based firm created last year by former Traiana Inc. Chief Executive Officer Andy Coyne, announced Wednesday that it began beta testing on a distributed ledger network, which the firm hopes can cut post-trade costs and provide a singular database for foreign-exchange transactions. Set to launch in 2017, the network will create a single record for each trade.

“The execution in the FX markets over the last 10 years has really accelerated,” Coyne said. “If you’re not simplifying, if you’re not taking the opportunity to recreate the whole shared trade system, I think you’re missing an opportunity.”

The platform, according to a statement, is expected to save “billions of dollars” for market participants by avoiding things like charges for ticketing, staffing and licensing. Currently, many are burdened by having to maintain multiple systems and layers to maintain records, Coyne said.

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The network will use blockchain concepts like encryption and digital signatures to create the unified system. Blockchain, the software that powers bitcoin, is a type of distributed database that’s being touted as a way to upend the financial industry.

Cobalt already has eight “leading institutional FX participants” signed on to use the system. The firm declined to specify the firms. The announcement comes 18 months after Coyne left Traiana, which was owned by ICAP Plc, an independent brokerage firm that provides a similar system.

First appeared at Bloomberg

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