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Russia, South Africa Join to Develop Blockchain Tech

At the recent Sibos event in Geneva, several organizations showed off blockchain prototypes and had plenty of discussion regarding the technology.

During the event, Russia’s National Settlement Depository (NSD) and South Africa’s Central Securities Depositories (CSDs) signed a letter of intent to begin initiatives using distributed ledger protocols.

National Settlement Depository The collaboration intends to initiate developments utilizing distributed ledger technologies (DLT). To begin, South Africa’s CSDs and Russia’s NSD will focus on the proxy voting use case. Both parties believe the partnership will invigorate DLT innovation and solutions that “benefit the financial market.”

CSDs and NSD agree that blockchain technology will “rapidly grow” and create a new “paradigm shift” in the current economy. Moreover, the parties believe it will transform markets such as security transactions, financial infrastructure, and others. Eddie Astanin, Chairman of the executive board, NSD explained:

We believe that the securities settlement and custody industry is one of the promising sectors where we can use new technologies. I think that post-trading may become the starting point of transition of the distributed ledger technology and blockchain from theory to practice. In 2015, we began research and initiated new developments; since that time we have developed valuable expertise in this sphere, and now we are eager to share it with our colleagues.

Russia’s E-Proxy Blockchain Voting Prototype 

BlockchainBack in April, the NSD was one of the first Russian organizations to develop a blockchain-based prototype for an e-proxy voting network. That project was based on the NXT distributed cryptographic platform and the international standard 20022 for messaging purposes.

The first prototype was designed for corporate actions, such as securities transactions and issuing documents and data. NSD added that its code is entirely open source and also available via GitHub.    

In the letter of intent, Mr. Astanin said development in this space has been fast and many startups are challenging incumbent companies. “We have to be one step ahead of everyone else and to use the opportunities we have now. Only the united efforts of the largest players in our industry will enable them to respond to new challenges and integrate new technologies,” he added.

The partnership between NSD and CSDs will bolster a mutual collaboration for blockchain-based post-trade settlement. The groups will eventually establish DLT standards, infrastructure benefits, and potential savings in business costs. The organizations say a number of groups have expressed interest in joining the collaborative and they “welcome these discussions.”

It is an important time for CSDs to be working together to define the future landscape in the DLT environment. Strate looks forward to developing this long-standing and valuable relationship with NSD to develop solutions for emerging market CSDs,” said Monica Singer, CEO of CSDs.

CSDs Better-Positioned with DLT Technology Research & Development  

As shown here, distributed ledger technology continues to produce collaborations. Likewise, many other groups are pledging to join forces to advance innovation faster –and intend to apply common standards. NDS says it will also offer lots of expertise to CSDs, adding the group will be “better positioned to face the changes presented by DLT technology.”


  • October 18, 2016 9:31 AM MSK