Tech 7 December 2018Paul How
Swiss Post, telecoms provider launch blockchain infrastructure
Swiss Post, Switzerland’s postal service, along with Swisscom, the government-owned telecommunications provider, are launching a “100%-owned Swiss infrastructure” for companies and government offices to put up their blockchain applications.
In a press release, Swiss Post and Swisscom said they would use the infrastructure for their own blockchain services, but will also “enable the Swiss economy to quickly obtain a leading position when it comes to using this promising technology.”
The blockchain being used is based on the Hyperledger Fabric software, with the pilot application scheduled for the second quarter of 2019, “geared towards companies and public authorities, which want to handle sensitive digital business processes securely and verifiably,” the statement read.
Although other blockchains are already being used in the country, the difference, according to Swiss Post and Swisscom, is that “[t]he data will remain completely in Switzerland and the infrastructure meets the high security requirements of banks.”
Acceptance of blockchain technology, cryptocurrencies in particular, has not been complete among banks in the country, even as it is home to SEBA Cryto AG and the Hypothekarbank Lenzburg which have stated they are open for business with cryptocurrency exchanges.
Swiss Post and Swisscom said they would be connecting their existing infrastructures for blockchain applications, and this means transactions of each one could be checked by the other to ensure transparency. They contrasted their distributed ledger with that of BTC and ETH, in not requiring as much energy to operate, “since it can only be used by identified users who have a contractual relationship with the providers of an application.” According to them, this allows for greater security and performance for those that choose to use it for blockchain applications, and would increase Switzerland’s viability as a business destination.
At present, Swiss Post is already using blockchain for its temperature management data, which is required for transporting pharmaceuticals. Its financial services unit PostFinance also records electric consumption data on the blockchain for landlords to bill tenants accurately. Meanwhile, Swisscom, through subsidiary daura AG, places information on Swiss shares on the blockchain, to allow non-listed companies to participate in the capital market.
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