South Africa’s Standard Bank to Launch Permissioned Blockchain for Overseas Exchange Services

Standard Bank will launch its private permissioned blockchain for overseas exchange trades with the participation of its Ugandan partner.

South Africa’s Standard Bank will soon launch its private permissioned blockchain for overseas exchange trades on behalf of corporate clients, fintech news outlet FinExtra reports Thursday, Feb. 28.

The platform, which is set to go live in the second half of 2019, is based on the Hyperledger Fabric — a foundation for developing applications or solutions for enterprise with a modular architecture. The South African bank is also planning to connect its foreign currency trading app, Shyft, to the blockchain platform.

The blockchain-driven system is expected to speed up the processing of international trades, foreign exchange payments and settlement. In addition, Standard Bank hopes to increase the transparency of transactions, as all the documents will be available for all parties in real time.

Richard de Roos, head of foreign exchange for Standard Bank, says that the blockchain solution is likely to reduce the incidence of trade failure, while increasing regulatory transparency and improving the visibility of liquidity.

Initially, the solution will be used by Standard Bank and its partner in Uganda, Stanbic Bank, along with third parties directly involved in trades.

Moreover, as the South African bank also works with the Industrial and Commercial Bank (ICBC) of China, the permissioned blockchain can further be extended to that partnership. De Roos confirmed that the bank and 20 of its franchises are currently negotiating with ICBC to extend the hub into Asia, Finextra reports.

Earlier this year, a working group of South African financial regulatory organizations had released a consultation paper focusing on cryptocurrencies. In the paper, the country’s officials called for public input to develop a cryptocurrency regulation policy for South Africa.

More recently, Intel has launched a commercial blockchain package based on the Hyperledger Fabric and using Intel’s hardware, including Xeon processors and Ethernet Network Adaptors. The new product is designed for businesses that want to launch their own blockchain.

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