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CSD Blockchain Consortium Advances Work on Proxy Voting System

A blockchain consortium backed by a group of central securities depositories (CSDs) is pushing ahead with plans to develop a distributed ledger-based proxy voting system.

The CSD Working Group on DLT was formed earlier this year by a group of companies – chiefly responsible for storing huge amounts of financial instruments – that are looking to apply the technology to their operations. The consortium, which includes Russia’s National Settlement Depository (NSD), as well as central securities depositories from South Africa, Switzerland, Sweden, Chile, Argentina and the United Arab Emirates, announced this week that it has outlined the technical requirements for a proxy voting platform to be used in shareholder meetings.

The details were shared during a recent workshop which included IBM, Hyperledger and SWIFT, among other companies. SWIFT assisted in ensuring the document adhered to the ISO 20022 standard. They did not announce which company would develop the platform.

According to the project’s outline, the group hewed to the ISO 20022 standard – used for financial maessages – in an effort to ensure that the final product can be applied across a broad spectrum of services.

Their ultimate goal is to create an e-proxy voting system which is both secure and transparent. The system would automatically allow or disallow voting privileges for members based on what voting rights they had within a particular organization. Minority stakeholders would not have as many rights as majority stakeholders, according the previously revealed plans.

“One of the key responsibilities of NSD as a systemically important Russian infrastructure is to define unified standards that enable implementation of new digital products both international and Russian markets,” Eddie Astanin, chairman of NSD’s executive board, was quoted as saying. “It appears that together with our partners we have managed to create a good working format and cooperation atmosphere aimed at creating new services and lowering the costs for the clients of CSDs.”

Voting box image via Shutterstock

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