Posted on

Barclays Analyst Predicts Billions in Additional Revenue From ‘Facebook Coin’ by 2021

A Barclays analyst stated that a possible “Facebook Coin” could generate $19 billion in additional revenue by 2021.

Facebook’s own cryptocurrency, if launched, could potentially generate $19 billion in additional revenue by 2021, CNBC reports on March 11.

Barclays internet analyst Ross Sandler wrote in a client note that a cryptocurrency could establish a new revenue stream for Facebook, aiding its share price that tanked amid a series of high-profile scandals last year.

In his forecast, Sandler pointed out that the crypto-based revenue option is something “sorely needed at this stage of the company’s narrative,” stressing that any advertising-free revenue streams are likely to be well-perceived by Facebook’s shareholders. Sandler said that his more conservative revenue estimate for the new coin is $3 billion.

The Barclays analyst recalled Facebook’s original payment project that was similar to what cryptocurrencies are today. Developed by California-based firm The Menlo Park in 2010, “Facebook credits” represented a virtual currency that allowed users to pre-pay those credits using domestic currencies and then use them for in-app-purchases.

Sandler added that Facebook will bear the brunt of interchange costs between fiat currencies and its possible new cryptocurrency, which could cut into the profitability of the business.

Citing analysis from Barclays, Sandler stated that the first version of “Facebook Coin” may be a single purpose coin for micro-payments and domestic peer-to-peer (p2p) money transfer, which is considered “very similar to the original credits from 2010.”

Sandler also assessed the scope of the project, noting that it is larger than previous ambitions of Facebook. The analyst pointed to David Marcus, the leader of Facebook’s blockchain and crypto team, who is former president of payment operator PayPal. Sandler also noted that Facebook has recently hired a number of employees from blockchain startup Chainspace.

Following a Bloomberg report on Facebook developing its own crypto back in December 2018, The New York Times (NYT) published another article alleging that the social media giant is “hoping to succeed where Bitcoin failed” with its highly secretive crypto project. According to NYT, 50 new employees are working on developing a stablecoin that would incorporate Facebook’s three fully-owned apps — WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Instagram.

Posted on

Bloomberg: Wall Street Giants Postpone Entering Crypto Industry Amid Falling Prices

Bloomberg’s recent article claims that Wall Street’s “dreams” of crypto businesses are now shelved and “in limbo.”

Wall Street giants are postponing their plans to more actively enter the crypto industry as the value of cryptocurrencies has fallen, Bloomberg reports Sunday, Dec. 23.

The article begins: “Limbo — that’s where to find Wall Street when it comes to cryptocurrencies,” and then focuses on the efforts in the crypto sphere this year made by banking giant Goldman Sachs, multinational financial services company Morgan Stanley, major banking conglomerate Citigroup Inc. and United Kingdom financial services provider Barclays PLC.

According to people familiar with Goldman Sachs’ crypto business, the firm’s progress has been too slow to be noticeable. Moreover, the company’s crypto non-derivative funds have so far attracted only 20 clients, the unnamed sources told Bloomberg

In addition, Justin Schmidt, hired to head digital assets division at Goldman Sachs, revealed in November that regulators were limiting his plans. However, Bloomberg’s unnamed interlocutor adds that the company is going to add a digital assets specialist to its prime brokerage division.

As for Morgan Stanley, the company has been ready to launch swaps tracking Bitcoin futures since early fall, but has not yet received a single contract, sources told Bloomberg. Nonetheless, the firm is ready to launch crypto services as soon as there is any sign of demand, an unnamed source noted.

Citigroup and Barclays have experienced similar problems: sources say the United States-based banking group has not yet traded any of its crypto-related products within the regulatory framework, and two Barclays employees hired to explore the industry for the firm left this year. A spokesman noted that the U.K. company has no plans to open a crypto trading desk.

As Cointelegraph reported in October, Goldman Sachs’ former partner and current CEO of crypto investment firm Galaxy Digital Mike Novogratz predicted that institutions will likely become involved in more crypto deals in Q1-Q2 2019. Shortly after, Novogratz and Goldman Sachs invested about $15 million in U.S. crypto custody service BitGo.

In the meantime, the banking giant has since denied rumors of having abandoned its plans to launch a crypto trading desk.

In November, Morgan Stanley released their latest report on Bitcoin, titled “Update: Bitcoin, Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain,” stating that Bitcoin (BTC) and altcoins have constituted a “new institutional investment class” since 2017.

And Bakkt, the digital assets platform created by the operator of the New York Stock Exchange, announced a target launch date for Jan. 24, 2018, pending regulatory approval.

Posted on

Business Models Should Be ‘Re-Imaged’ for Blockchain, Says Barclays Rep

A Barclays Intrapreneur said that blockchains should be built with regulatory compliance in mind during a recent industry event.

A Intrapreneur from financial services giant Barclays has expressed the idea that blockchains should be built with regulatory compliance in mind, tech news website The Next Web (TNW) reported Dec. 14.

Speaking at a Hard Fork Decentralized event, Barclays’ Julian Wilson stated that when building blockchains, developers need to “reconfigure our approach and way of thinking.” Wilson argued that not all business models require blockchains and that the tech should not be used, as TNW paraphrased his words, “as bolt-ons or additions to current business models.”

TNW also reports that Wilson presented an integrated concept of regulation and development, arguing that “to make a blockchain legally compliant, it should be built with the law in mind, and not the other way around.”

Speaking about using blockchain at Barclays, he noted that for a bank with over 300 years of activity, changing its business model to a blockchain-based one would not be simple, and that a blockchain solution would need to be “bespoke.”

As Cointelegraph reported in August, Barclays sponsored a blockchain hackathon to explore the technology’s potential in the processing of derivatives contracts.

While this summer Barclays denied plans to open a cryptocurrency trading desk, the banking giant demonstrated interest in crypto and blockchain tech recently, filing two digital currency and blockchain patents with the United States patent office in July.

Posted on

Barclays Sponsors Blockchain Hackathon to Explore Derivatives Contracts Processing

British investment bank Barclays is sponsoring a hackathon to find the best blockchain solution to increase the efficiency of derivatives contracts processing, according to an announcement published August 9. Barclays is partnering with other market majors like Deloitte, the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) and Thomson Reuters for the event.

At the two-day DerivHack hackathon, participants will be given an opportunity to implement their ideas and apply the ISDA Common Domain Model (CDM) to distributed ledger technology. The final goal of the event is to find solutions to use cases in post-trade processing of derivatives contracts.

The ISDA CDM provides a standard digital representation of events and processes which may happen in the course of a derivatives trade, presented in a machine-readable format. The product is designed to enhance consistency and aid interoperability across firms and platforms.

Per the announcement, Barclays will lay down challenging use cases to simulate the derivatives market, like an overhaul of derivatives post-trade processing, step-change in efficiency gains, as well as provide sample trade data in the ISDA CDM to implement them.

Earlier this year, there were rumors that Barclays was reviewing the possibility of opening a cryptocurrencies trading desk. An anonymous source reportedly said that the bank was assessing whether client interest was sufficient to offer crypto trading services. Later, Barclays’ CEO Jes Staley refuted the rumors, saying:

“Cryptocurrency is a real challenge for us because, on the one hand, there is the innovative side of it and wanting to stay in the forefront of technology’s improvement in finance… On the other side of it, there is the possibility of cryptocurrencies being used for activities that the bank wants to have no part of.”

In July, Barclays filed two patent applications relating to the transfer of digital currency and blockchain data storage, both published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The first patent describes a system of transferring digital currency from payer to recipient that would securely authenticate the identities of both, as well as validate and record transactions. The other relates to storing and endorsing data and claims relating to specific entities.

Posted on

Barclays Is Pitting Blockchains Against Each Other (For a Cause)

U.K. banking giant Barclays is challenging up-and-coming blockchain coders to help revamp the global derivatives market at a hackathon next month.

Revealed exclusively to CoinDesk, DerivHack will take place simultaneously in London and New York on September 20-21 at Barclays’ Rise accelerator spaces. The International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA), Deloitte and Thomson Reuters are co-sponsoring the event

Those taking part will be asked to apply ISDA’s Common Domain Model (CDM), a set of process and data standards, using their choice of distributed ledger technology (DLT) platform, to efficiently model post-trade processing of derivatives contracts. 

CDM attempts to harmonize the way data is presented and reported across different firms and platforms. As such, its adoption is widely viewed as a prerequisite for the financial industry to adopt DLT and smart contracts.

One goal of the hackathon is to suss out which of the commonly used enterprise DLT platforms – R3’s Corda, Hyperledger Fabric or ethereum – handles derivative life cycle smart contracts most elegantly.

“It’s up to each team to decide what they code on,” Dr. Lee Braine of the CTO Office at Barclays Investment Bank told CoinDesk, adding that it is a “good, and genuinely open, question” which will perform the most efficiently.  

“I think the sort of things that will come out of this hackathon will include exactly that,” he said.

Braine said, by way of an example, there may be cases where existing blockchain platforms benefit from some enhancements to make them more naturally compatible with the CDM.

Referring to object-oriented computing languages such as Java, which use classes to define data formats and available procedures for a given type or class of object, he said, “you could imagine this being equivalent to adding some extra classes to raise the level of abstraction closer to that of the CDM.”

Braine pointed out that the CDM, which is all about how you alter the data structure before and after each life cycle event in a trade (such as an amendment, modification or termination of a contract), will give the judges a neat way to assess those solutions.  

“Because it is the ISDA CDM, it will be very clear what are the inputs and expected outputs for each life cycle event – but it will be up to the hackathon coders to implement the smart contracts using a programming language and platform they think is appropriate,” he said.  

Fresh eyes

For ISDA, the hackathon presents an opportunity to get some feedback from members of the industry (and newbies) about the CDM.

“Following the release of ISDA CDM 1.0, it is important that the model is explored and validated by a broad set of industry participants,” said Clive Ansell, head of market infrastructure and technology at ISDA.

A key component in the standardization of smart contract-enabled post-trade processing of derivatives are smart oracles which pipe in data to the contacts. Thomson Reuters was the first large industry player to launch a smart oracle back in June 2017 with BlockOne IQ.

“Making this capability available during the hackathon is a great opportunity to explore the evolution of standards for blockchain-based financial instruments, as they are a much-needed component in shaping the industry’s future infrastructure,” said Sam Chadwick, director of strategy in innovation and blockchain at Thomson Reuters.

Also, the two intensive days will give participants access to derivatives experts providing guidance on applying the ISDA CDM, said Braine, which should be useful whether the team is a fintech startup looking to implement derivatives smart contracts or a group of students looking to build skills and enhance their CVs.

Summing up, Sunil Challa from the business architect team at Barclays said:

“If the industry is to realize potential efficiencies and reduce costs via the adoption of standards, then there needs to be greater compatibility across different solutions in capital markets.” 

Image via Barclays

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

Posted on

Bitcoin Posts Solid Gains to Break Above $7,000 While Altcoins See Green

Bitcoin (BTC) has seen solid growth to break back above the $7,000 mark today, August 7. The overall crypto market is seeing a healthy flush of green, rallying forth after the weekend’s losses, as data from Coin360 shows.

Market visualization

Market visualization from Coin360

Bitcoin (BTC) is trading around $7,118 at press time, up around 2.5 percent on the day. After several faltering attempts to break past the $7,000 threshold yesterday, the leading cryptocurrency has today seen a sustained uptick as of very early trading hours. Today’s growth has not yet pushed the coin’s weekly price change back into the green, however, which still remains at around an 8 percent loss. On the month, Bitcoin is now up almost 9 percent.

Bitcoin’s 24-hour price chart

Bitcoin’s 24-hour price chart. Source: Cointelegraph Bitcoin Price Index

Fundstrat’s head of research and well-known Bitcoin bull Tom Lee today used his firm’s recently launched Bitcoin Misery Index (BMI) to evaluate the coin’s current market momentum. The index determines that any value below 27 signals promising future returns, while 68 is set as a “time to sell” misery threshold. With the index presently at 39, Lee said:

“Bitcoin isn’t broken if it’s holding at these levels. I think people are afraid it is going to go back down to $6,000 and never come back from those bear markets.”

The analyst also noted the recent uptrend in Bitcoin dominance by market capitalization, which as of press time is pushing 48 percent. In late July, BTC dominance had surged to 2018 record-highs, hitting levels not seen since last December, at a time when the coin was trading just below its $20,000 industry peak.

Lee also singled out the Intercontinental Exchange’s (ICE) plans to develop a regulated, global digital assets platform — spearheaded by Bitcoin-fiat conversion for consumers — as a strong bullish signal for the asset.

Ethereum (ETH) is currently trading around $409, up around one percent on the day to press time. The altcoin is now closing its losses on its weekly chart: while the asset is still down around $20 from its price point at the beginning of August, only yesterday its weekly value loss was above $50. Closing down to a 6 percentage loss on the week, Ethereum is still around 1.5 percent in the red on its monthly chart.

Ethereum’s 7-day price chart

Ethereum’s 7-day price chart. Source: Cointelegraph Ethereum Price Index

On CoinMarketCap’s listings, all but three of the top ten coins by market cap are in the green, although gains are capped at a modest 2 percent over the 24-hour period.

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the strongest performer among the top ten, seeing around 2.4 percent in growth to trade at $708 at press time. EOS and Stellar (XLM) are also seeing solid gains, with the former up around 2 percent to trade at $7.15 and the latter up over 2 percent to hit $0.24 at press time.

IOTA (MIOTA) meanwhile, has seen ongoing significant losses and is down to around $0.80 at press time. The asset’s 24-hour chart is indicating an almost 9 percent loss, and an intra-day plummet to as low as $0.74. On the week, IOTA’s performance has been volatile, after it briefly decoupled from the wider bearish market to stake short-lived growth before its subsequent plummet.

IOTA’s 7-day price chart

IOTA’s 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

Among the top twenty coins by market cap, Ethereum Classic (ETC) is still riding major positive momentum, possibly triggered by news of its imminent listing on popular U.S. crypto exchange and wallet service provider Coinbase, which is set for August 7. The asset is up a almost 8 percent to trade around $19.70 at press time, likely buoyed by another burst of good news of its listing on zero-fee crypto trading app Robinhood yesterday.

Ethereum Classic’s 7-day price chart

Ethereum Classic’s 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

Total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies is around $257 billion at press time, edging upwards as the market stakes its recovery, yet still down around $20 billion on its weekly chart.

7-day chart of the total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies

7-day chart of the total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies from CoinMarketCap

Indications of crypto’s impending institutionalization continues to break, with insider sources yesterday telling Bloomberg that Goldman Sachs plans to “offer [its clients] custody for crypto funds,” notwithstanding the bank’s claims “not [to have] reached a conclusion” on digital assets.

Other traditional financial sector players are proceeding with similar caution, with UK-based bank Barclays today denying it is opening a crypto trading desk, while two employees recently removed LinkedIn evidence that they were working on digital asset-related products.

Posted on

Barclays Denies Crypto Products as Staff Removes ‘Digital Asset Project’ LinkedIn Info

UK-based bank Barclays has denied it is working on cryptocurrency products despite two employees removing LinkedIn evidence they were doing so after receiving mainstream media attention, Business Insider reports August 6.

According to Business Insider, Matthieu Jobbe Duval and Chris Tyrer, whom Barclays confirmed worked for the bank, had listed cryptocurrency-related duties on their LinkedIn profiles.

Duval had written he was involved in a “digital asset project” and was “hired to produce a business plan for integrating a digital assets trading desk into Barclays’ markets business: revenue opportunity, competitive landscape, budgeting and planning for delivery, I.T. buildout, capital & balance sheet impact.”

After Business Insider approached Barclays for comment, however, Duval removed the information while nonetheless confirming it was “accurate.” Tyrer, whose LinkedIn had described him as the head of the digital assets project, declined to comment.

Barclays, as well as Duval and Tyrer, have not responded to Cointelegraph’s request for comment by press time.

The curious events continue what has become a growing trend among banks of denying cryptocurrency interest at a senior level while appearing to actively develop an approach to the phenomenon elsewhere.

This week, Goldman Sachs insiders said the bank planned to offer “crypto custody” services despite a spokesman telling Bloomberg it had “not reached a conclusion” on digital assets.

A similar story emerged from BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, whose CEO Larry Fink last month claimed none of its clients had an interest in cryptocurrency exposure while at the same time the company formed a working group to assess Bitcoin involvement.

In March, Barclays began serving U.S. cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase in a partnership which allowed considerably faster funding options for UK traders.

Posted on

Citigroup and Barclays Join Experimental Blockchain Project

In recent years, financial institutions have begun to appreciate the perks that come with the blockchain technology. Its anonymity, speed, and security make it highly attractive to banks for use in their day-to-day transactions. Hence, the design of an in-trial platform for banks who wish to capitalize on blockchain technology.

About LedgerConnect

Multinational technology behemoth, IBM, and foreign exchange services firm, CLS, announced the creation of in-trial app store, LedgerConnect, on Monday. This platform is expected to launch in a few months’ time. With LedgerConnect, banks interested in programs based on the blockchain technology can use the platform trial pad.

These financial institutions will be selecting blockchain vendors, including Baton Systems, Copp Clark, Calypso, IBM, SynSwap, and OpenRisk. Theoretically, banks have it easier when they use LegerConncet to opt-in to blockchain projects. These banks can also use the same blockchain protocol, instead of using several incompatible ones.

In a statement made by Ram Komarraju, managing director of technology at CLS, he said:

What is the point of having these people building the same infrastructure? Instead of building several new blockchain applications for the same problem, banks can then focus their energies on their own firm’s operations.

The in-app trial platform is built on the IBM Blockchain Platform and Hyperledger Fabric Technology. It will apply blockchain technology to areas such as anti-money laundering “Know Your Customer” regulations and collateral loan management.

The platform, however, is yet to receive the go-ahead from central banks and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Because of its unregulated nature, banks cannot enjoy the potentials that come with using the platform. At the moment, an exact launch date is yet to be given. Vice president of financial markets of IBM, Keith Bear, gives early 2019 as a tentative date. He also hopes more banks would apply before then.

Citigroup and Barclays Sign up for the LedgerConnect Blockchain

Wall Street banks have in recent times, recognized the potentials of the blockchain technology. To solve a litany of problems and improve security, these financial institutions have tested different blockchain technology platforms.

The blockchain technology, which is the underlying technology cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, is a secure way to send sensitive information. Its anonymous nature and speed make it very attractive for banks, which deal in personal data and security.

Nine prestigious banks, including Citigroup and Barclays, have decided to key into the LedgerConncet. Citigroup and Barclays have in the past, partnered with different startups to help build projects that address various issues. These issues range from instant transactions to compliance with onerous financial regulations.

Integrating Legacy Systems with Emerging Technologies

The moves made by these banks is commendable, but there is the problem of the old merging with the new.

Vice president of financial markets of IBM, Keith Bear, commented on the old versus new trend. He said:

The challenge is being able to work together across organizations of different speeds. On one side we have a large highly regulated industry. On the other side we have much more agile and fast-footed fintechs with limited resources. Our role is in some respects of mediating those differences in speed and resources.

loading…

Posted on

IBM, Barclays and Citi Team Up to Launch Blockchain App Store for Banks

Even private and permissioned blockchains need to build ecosystems and achieve network effects, just like their permissionless, public counterparts.

At least, that’s the thinking behind LedgerConnect, a financial blockchain “app store” that aims to make it easier for banks to access distributed ledger technology (DLT) solutions from fintech and software providers, and for those vendors in turn to reach bank customers.

Announced Monday, LedgerConnect is the offspring of bank-owned currency trading utility CLS and enterprise software giant IBM, and counts major banks Barclays and Citigroup among its founding members.

In fact, nine financial institutions are participating in the proof of concept (PoC) and have selected services from a number of vendors including Baton Systems, Calypso, Copp Clark, IBM, MPhasis, OpenRisk, SynSwap and Persistent Systems.

On LedgerConnect, financial institutions will be able to access DLT-based services in areas such as know-your-customer processes, sanctions screening, collateral management, derivatives post-trade processing and reconciliation and market data.

This new hub will address a connectivity gap, where upstart fintechs and large tech firms alike are faced with the cost and complexity of spinning up their own distributed networks so banks can consume their various applications, according to Keith Bear, IBM’s vice president for financial markets.

“Having a secure network and proven infrastructure allows an app store kind of model, where banks can identify applications from certified fintech and software providers and deploy these apps over a seamless blockchain network,” Bear told CoinDesk.

For Barclays, one of the most active banks in the DLT field, the app store is a way to test out a new approach.

Dr. Lee Braine of the investment bank CTO office at Barclays, explained that there are several different deployment options to consider when architecting distributed ledgers for live environments.

For example, if a financial market infrastructure provider like CLS is providing the governance and business services for a particular use case, then there may be an option for that market infrastructure provider to also host the nodes on behalf of the banks in order to accelerate the initial speed to market, said Braine.

“Some banks may also look to explore the more decentralized deployment option of hosting their nodes themselves,” said Braine. “By participating in the LedgerConnect proof-of-concept, Barclays is gaining experience of a distributed ledger private network aimed at connecting both market infrastructure-hosted nodes and bank-hosted nodes.”

LedgerConnect itself runs partly on a permissioned blockchain based on IBM’s blockchain platform, which in turn was built on Hyperledger Fabric, and all the apps currently in the store are Hyperledger-based. However, the founders are open to other enterprise blockchain solutions making use of the app store.   

“We are not averse to supporting other ledger implementations, whether it is R3’s Corda, whether it is Quorum (provided these techs are robust and can meet the needs we have from security perspective etc.),” said Ram Komarraju, head of innovation and solution delivery at CLS.

He added:

“Our expectation is that in principle we will not be limited to one technology only.”

Original consortium

Stepping back, CLS can perhaps be thought of as the original blockchain consortium.

Granted, it was founded in 2002 (six years before the first blockchain was conceived) to provide plumbing for FX trades. But it’s been testing blockchain technology since early 2015, before Hyperledger started and when R3 was still flying under the radar.

The early CLS blockchain efforts were later formalized into CLSNet, a way of testing blockchain to match and net trades involving a range of new currencies not on the main platform, keeping immature blockchain technology separate from the core settlement engine used by 60 large financial institutions.

“There is a lot of trade processing we do for banks and buy-side firms, without getting to the last mission-critical aspects of settlement itself,” said Komarraju.

As such, CLSNet will be one of the first applications on the new LedgerConnect portal. All these apps have been selected in the hope of removing typical reconciliation efforts and data duplication (remedies include things like capturing digitalized master agreements of derivatives contracts on a single ledger for example).

“Look at capital markets today, every bank has its own silo office systems even though they are trading typically with a counterparty that has the same type of business logic but using the same technology stack,” added Komarraju.

IBM and CLS go back a ways; the main CLS platform was built by IBM. And LedgerConnect is a way of joining the dots between their respective financial infrastructure and blockchain work, at the same time extending the blockchain work CLS has been doing beyond foreign exchange into other capital market domains.

“This is really leveraging the combination of CLS’s position as a globally systemically important market utility owned by the banks, and also IBM’s investment in that,” said Komarraju.

PoC fatigue

Unlike the average PoC, LedgerConnect is at quite an advanced state, according to Komarraju.

“We didn’t start this on Monday,” he said. We have institutions that have selected a number of use cases and these have been implemented and we are in the very late stages of proving the technology.”

While Barclays and Citi are the only banks being named at this time, big hitters like JPMorgan and Goldman, which are both part of CLSNet, are logical candidates to take part.

Another list of likely suspects are the banks on the we.trade platform, which also uses Hyperledger in the form of an IBM software-as-a-service (SaaS) model.

Explaining why CLS couldn’t reveal all the participants in LedgerConnect, Komarraju hinted that some of these big banks are experiencing a bit of blockchain PoC fatigue.

“We cannot share the names of full list of banks because we haven’t (yet) received the approvals from some of them. Some of them wanted to wait until the proof of concept is complete and others needed more time for internal approvals,” he said.

Meanwhile, Bear of IBM said the whole reason we are seeing PoC fatigue is because so many of them don’t progress. While this can be because of a weak business case, or one that doesn’t need a blockchain, oftentimes it comes down to the cost and complexity of getting a network up and running.

“In many ways we are trying to get rid of that PoC fatigue,” said Bear. “I know we have to go through a PoC to do that, but it’s kind of inevitable.”

IBM image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

Posted on

Barclays Seeks Twin Blockchain Patents for Banking Services

Barclays Bank may be looking to blockchain to streamline fund transfers and know-your-customer processes, according to newly-released patent applications.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published two applications by the U.K.’s second-largest bank Thursday, both of which revolve around account security. Perhaps most notably, however, was an application for a patent which outlined a blockchain-platform which could facilitate cryptocurrency transfers. The bank also proposed streamlining know-your-customer processes by storing identifying information on a private blockchain.

Though the existence of a patent application does not necessarily mean the bank is planning to develop any products with the technology, the releases indicate members of the bank are examining the nascent technology.

As one document explains:

“The use of a block chain provides at least several benefits. These include its public nature, allowing any other party or entity from viewing the data and cryptographic verification of the data enabled by the digital signatures, hashing and layered nature of the block chain. The transaction is a complete and verified unit of data in a form that may be added to the block chain … Further or duplicate checks and work may be avoided, which can improve the efficiency of computer networks.”

As such, Barclays’ proposal would provide “a more reliable form of verification without substantially increasing technical overheads and improves the operation of computing environments and telecommunications networks.”

And that’s not all. The application details a “super” user authority, which would have the right to migrate old information to present blocks, and perhaps even delete old ones with sufficient support from other user authorities in the system. This use could theoretically mitigate blockchain size and storage issues.

The other patent is even more direct – it suggests generating a blockchain to transfer “digital currency from a payer to a recipient.”

Barclays logo image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.