Spain: Stock Exchange Operator Pilots Collateral Pledges Digitization on Blockchain

March 14, 2019
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Bolsas y Mercados Españoles and investment firm Renta 4 Banco completed a blockchain pilot for electronic certificates of collateral pledges.

Major Spanish stock market operator Bolsas y Mercados Españoles (BME) has completed its first blockchain pilot for electronic certificates of collateral pledges, according to an official press release published on March 15.

Implemented along with Renta 4 Banco, which is the only investment services firm listed on the BME, the new pilot intends to eliminate the use of physical certifications by digitizing all processes and providing network participants with real-time access to data.

The pilot’s proof-of-concept (PoC) consisted of the release of collateral pledged by Renta 4 Banco to cover customer’s positions at BME Clearing, BME’s central counterparty.

According to the announcement, the implementation of the blockchain-powered pilot enabled the parties to reduce total processing time by more than 80 percent.

The PoC was developed by BME’s division DLT-Lab, which researches the use of blockchain for improving existing financial procedures in collaboration with regulators and various financial institutions. To develop the pilot, BME’s DLT-Lab worked with infrastructures involved in the process and the BME subsidiaries BME Clearing, the Spanish central securities depository Iberclear and Renta 4 Banco.

According to the press release, BME and Renta 4 Banco will keep working on the initiative in order to launch the new system officially by the end of 2019.

Berta Ares, Head of Digital Transformation at BME, emphasized that distributed ledger tech (DLT) allows the parties involved in the process to both reduce operating times and provide legal certainty for electronic certificates, while maintaining privacy and compliance.

Previously, BME participated in a joint blockchain tech project to record the issuance of financial warrants. The initiative involved eight major European financial institutions, including Spanish securities regulator the National Securities Market Commission, BBVA, BNP Paribas, CaixaBank and others.

In early February, Cointelegraph reported on Switzerland’s principal stock exchange SIX Swiss Exchange plans to test blockchain integration for its upcoming parallel digital trading platform SDX in the second half of 2019. The blockchain-powered platform intends to minimize trading risks, as well as to expand the scope of tradable titles.

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