Russia’s National Settlement Depository developing Hyperledger trading platform

The National Settlement Depository, Russia’s centralised securities depository, is trialling a new blockchain platform for commercial bond trading.

The development aims to leverage blockchain technology for “simple and transparent” transactions, allowing for investors to more efficiently purchase and redeem corporate bonds via the distributed ledger.

The platform, announced today, is being developed on Fabric, the first software release from the Hyperledger consortium.

A prototype of the platform has already been used in a commercial transaction, with Raiffeisenbank Russia using the technology to purchase $10 million in bonds from telecoms operator MegaFon. The bonds are set to be redeemed in December, and if successful, could pave the way for a wider rollout of the technology.

According to the National Settlement Depository, the prototype could help shape the delivery of financial products and services in future, including through utilising smart contracts.

“The ultimate goal of NSD is to build blockchain infrastructure for any innovative financial product to operate on. Once the infrastructure is created, technology holds potential to deliver a large variety of financial products and services operated by smart contracts.”

“Our goal is to create a secure and user-friendly accounting infrastructure for digital assets. We consider the platform would not only provide technological and legal protection of all parties involved, but also extend variety of post-trade services for investors, custodians and new institutions emerging in this sector of economy.”

The NSD has made its code, developed in partnership with Californian firm Altoros, publicly available via GitHub, in a bid to help others develop similar technology for a range of financial services applications.

It comes amidst a range of similar developments and proofs-of-concept being trialled across industries worldwide, with finance one of the main beneficiaries of distributed ledger technology to date.

The Hyperledger consortium protocol, Fabric, has been designed to provide infrastructure for enterprise-scale developments on the blockchain. Comprised of a group of over 130 companies from a multitude of industries and sectors, the Linux-led consortium has been working in cooperation with a range of partners to develop the technological groundwork for more prototypes like the NSD platform.

The bond trading platform becomes the latest experiment with blockchain technology from the National Settlement Depository, joining a range of other developments currently under way, including a wallet service for cryptocurrencies.

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