13 February 2017
Hong Kong
Reporter: Stephanie Palmer

Blockchain capital markets prototype launched


EquiChain has released a working prototype of its blockchain solution for global capital markets, with plans to implement a full end-to-end custody pilot this year.

The infrastructure platform is intended to drive efficiency and improve global investor access in emerging and frontier markets through distributed ledger technology (DLT).

It consolidates the functions of the asset manager, custodian, broker, exchange and central securities depository, allowing for direct interaction and exchange of value between participants.

Hugh Madden, CTO of EquiChain, explained: “EquiChain’s use of cryptographic signatures reduces counterparty risk and prevents fraud, making blockchain-based transfers safer than other alternatives.”

EquiChain has also announced the closing of its initial round of funding, secured from board members, advisors and close stakeholders, and established two industry working groups.

One group will be focused on institutional investors, and the other will work on market infrastructure. They will bring together thought leaders, helping the platform to develop while embracing current and future regulatory requirements.

Nicholas Bone, founder and CEO of EquiChain, said: “The current securities transaction lifecycle is complex, costly, time-consuming and fraught with risk. EquiChain will use DLT to redefine securities transaction flows creating a full ‘execution-to-custody’ capability.”

He added: “Blockchain is particularly relevant for emerging and frontier markets, which are often perceived by foreign investors as being higher risk, while typically having less cumbersome existing infrastructure to accommodate. DLT gives such markets the opportunity to leapfrog existing solutions to deliver greater efficiency, liquidity and ease of access.”

Markus Ruetimann, senior advisor to the EquiChain board, commented: “Accessing frontier and emerging markets poses many operational challenges. EquiChain's solutions will make investing, trade tracking and data flows much more efficient and robust. This will make these markets more accessible for investment, whilst reinforcing local infrastructure.”

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