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NatWest and Santander Adopt Fnality and Partners’ New Proof of Concept DLT Payments System

Fnality, the fintech firm creating a network of distributed payment systems using blockchain technology, has partnered with Nivaura and Adhara to to structure, execute and settle a tokenised primary securities issuance and facilitate the payment leg via the creation of an Ecosystem TestNet. In collaboration with Santander and NatWest, these fintechs have announced the successful completion of a pilot proof of concept (POC) involving the issuance of a tokenised security on a public blockchain with the payment leg conducted through a new, DLT-enabled payments system.

The TestNet is an early working and live example of how Fnality’s DLT-based payment systems will help facilitate several benefits and use cases, including intraday liquidity savings, end-to-end repurchase agreements, and interbank intraday FX swaps.

It has been adopted alongside Nivaura’s product by Santander and NatWest for the purposes of this POC to demonstrate, in what has traditionally been a time-intensive and manual process, a near-instant solution that structures, executes and settles trades on a T=0 basis, enabling participants to easily accelerate time to market for debt issuances.

NatWest and Santander acted as the two counterparties to the transaction, demonstrating the ability of DLT to streamline both capital markets and payments activity in the future. This pilot transaction is a major step in the adoption of digital and automated technologies in the industry, and a clear demonstration that UK fintech is at the leading edge of progress in this space.

The announcement comes ahead of an exciting year ahead for the three companies:

  • Leveraging on successful dealer and infrastructure deployments in 2021, Nivaura continues to develop its transaction management workflow technology to provide a seamless digital journey today while creating the on-ramp solution to get ready for tomorrow’s scalable DLT future.
  • Fnality’s launch of its DLT-enabled payment system is scheduled for October 2022, and will be enabled by the Bank of England’s new Omnibus Account, which opens up the full potential of their unique distributed Financial Market Infrastructure.
  • Adhara and Fnality have successfully launched the Ecosystem Testnet on which a number of business use cases are being tested – highlighting the benefits of utilising Fnality and showcasing how new target operating models can be implemented by major wholesale banks.

Dr. Vic Arulchandran, Co-founder of Nivaura: “This POC builds on our ethos of innovation in primary capital markets, particularly as the first firm to use DLT to issue and settle the world’s first legally compliant tokenised securities on a public blockchain. Partnering with Fnality on this POC enables us to extend our previous work to test the potential benefits of entirely DLT based settlement of digital assets with central bank money-like digital cash. As we move forward and collaborate with other innovative firms like Fnality, Santander and NatWest, we will continue to work under the governance of the FCA and other regulators, law firms, market infrastructure and capital markets firms to ensure that the banking ecosystem is involved in shaping the future of primary capital markets.”

Commenting on the inception of their Ecosystem TestNet, Fnality CEO, Rhomaios Ram, said: “After much recent hard work in collaboration with our blockchain partners at Adhara, the Fnality Ecosystem TestNet finally allows us to proudly introduce our structure for DLT-based payments and settlements ahead of live operation. This early phase of testing under specific use cases for Santander and NatWest promotes the exploration of multiple system benefits, allowing those within the Fnality consortium – and those who stand to gain outside it – to examine how the technology will work to deliver speed, cost and risk benefits, while also defining workflows for the future. With the help of Adhara and industry partners like Nivaura, the creation and implementation of this TestNet will aid us in demonstrating the key capabilities of Fnality Payment Systems and providing a practical window into the future market structure they will enable.”*

Commenting on their involvement, Adhara COO, Peter Munnings, said: “We’re very pleased to have the opportunity to assist Fnality and Nivaura in demonstrating the benefits of this POC by providing the test implementation of the underlying payment system architecture. The opportunity to be Fnality’s blockchain partner for the first-of-its-kind DLT system for payment and settlement applications is unique in building the wholesale financial ecosystem of the future. We’re looking forward to facilitating the demonstration of further use cases on the Fnality Adhara TestNet to provide Fnality’s users with full confidence ahead of the FnPS’s full market launch.”

Christopher Agathangelou, Head of Digital Capital Markets and Flow Credit at NatWest, commented: “NatWest is delighted to have acted as issuer and dealer in this landmark pilot transaction. Financial markets are increasingly embracing distributed ledger technology and NatWest will always advocate for innovation and market standardisation in line with our values and the interests of our customers. Distributed ledgers and digital assets will help level the playing field by lowering the barriers to entry to financial markets for both large frequent issuers and smaller enterprises.”

John Whelan, Managing Director of Digital Assets at Santander, said: “The benefits of programmable digital securities can be maximised by incorporating programmable digital cash for settlement and the entire post-trade lifecycle leading to many efficiency gains and bring enormous amounts of innovation to the capital markets.”

Author

  • Francis is a journalist with a BA in Classical Civilization, he has a specialist interest in North and South America.

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