Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) are more popular than ever. Further, the tech is everywhere, from Ivy League University endowments to legacy financial firms, to blue-chip technology companies. Microsoft is the latest tech giant to publicly throw their support behind blockchain and DLT.
Microsoft Blockchain Tech Will Integrate With Nasdaq Services
Microsoft’s cloud computing platform Azure, has been quietly working on blockchain for quite some time. They have several notable projects in the queue.
One project of interest is their plan to integrate blockchain tech into stock exchange Nasdaq’s Financial Framework (NFF).
In a recent press release, Microsoft reports it will integrate Azure with the NFF. The aim is to provide software better equipped to handle trading infrastructure. Additionally, the integration will help complete Nasdaq’s offering on surveillance and risk technology. The collaboration aims to develop a “ledger agnostic blockchain capability” which will allow operability across multiple ledgers. In other words, the technology can operate on different types of blockchains. Both parties aim to facilitate easier and faster matching between buyer and seller. The tech collaboration will also help with payment, transaction settlement and delivery management.
Microsoft is keen to get as much feedback on their blockchain tech as possible. They released the Blockchain Workbench 1.5.0 to “Deploy, develop, and troubleshoot faster”. The workbench has new releases every month and listens to its users for feedback on what features to work on next.
The public support of blockchain and DLT is valuable to the nascent asset class. Microsoft believes in the vision of crypto, that much is certain. Their website even has two e-books you can download, one about “how blockchain is transforming the financial services industry” and the other on “how blockchain can create smarter, more efficient supply chains”.
Spanish Bank Conducts Blockchain-Based Loan of $150 Million
Banks are quickly realizing the value of blockchain technology in their day to day operations. Transmitting large sums of money across the world can be nerve wracking. The SWIFT system is there to assist with wire transfers. However, wire transfers can experience delays. Blockchain-based loan technology may provide a new solution for an old system.
Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA), Spain’s second-largest bank, completed a blockchain-based syndicated loan of $150,000,000. Three banks are a part of the transaction, including Japan’s Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG), French banking group BNP Paribas, and BBVA. As a result the Ethereum blockchain recorded the signed contract.
But BBVA isn’t the only bank to see the value of integrating blockchain technology.
The head of the IMF is also a proponent of crypto. At the Singapore Finech Festival, IMF Managing Director Christine Legarde gave a speech titled, “Winds of Change: The Case for New Digital Currency”. In it, she stated the international banking community should “consider” putting their weight behind central bank issued digital currencies (CBDCs). Additionally, Ms. Legarde went on to say, “I believe we should consider the possibility to issue digital currency. There may be a role for the state to supply money to the digital economy.”
Australia Bank Trials Programmable Money
Apparently, Australia feels the same. The country’s largest bank, The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), is partnering with Data61, a government run innovation center, to trial blockchain-based “smart money”. Plans are to use the programmable money for Australia’s National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
Programmable money payments follow binding, pre-specified rules.
Rules include goods or services the currency can be used for, or who can spend the funds. Further, programmable money is an intriguing concept well-suited to help manage budgets. Other applications include which goods or services the token may be spent for, by whom, and when. Therefore, programmable money is a great alternative to manage insurance payouts, budgeting and management for trusts and non-profit organizations.