The Standard Bank of South Africa has announced that it is on the verge of launching a blockchain platform that would enable its corporate clients engage in overseas foreign exchange trading.
In a report published by financial technology newswire Finextra on the 28 of February, the platform will be cloud-based and built on the Hyperledger Fabric blockchain platform.
More so, the platform will work in conjunction with the bank’s existing foreign currency trading application, known as the Shyft.
Head of Foreign Exchange for Standard Bank, Richard de Roos, told Finextra during an interview, that the new blockchain platform will go a long way in shortening the time required to complete international trades and payments made to foreign exchanges, as well as increase the security of documents related to these types of trades and payments by “providing an independent and much safer cloud-hosted record of all documents and steps, instantly available in real time to all parties involved,” he noted.
He added that the platform was designed to recognize and hold most of the trades that fail in the early stages of the settlement process. These transactions will then be completed in the “Swift gpi network.”
The network was developed to act as a “hub and spoke” system, with Standard Bank serving as the hub and its 20 African franchises as the spokes that facilitate payments.
Standard bank and its other partners are working closely with the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) with the aim of extending the blockchain platform into China.
In an article published on Standard Bank’s official website, Leon Barnard, the Chief Executive, Personal and Business Banking, Africa Regions, spoke on the relationship between the Bank and ICBC, according to him, “Standard Bank and ICBC have purposefully structured their Africa-China trade corridor to meet the needs of both Chinese importers and African exporters- at both ends of this unique global trade platform . . . .”
However, this feat by the Standard Bank is expected to give life to South Africa and her numberous financial institutions, who has been struggling to improve on its blockchain technology for some time now.