IBM, CLS, and Nine Others Tests New Blockchain App Store for

Enterprise software giant IBM, CLS – a foreign exchange settlement provider and nine financial institutions, including Barclays Plc and Citigroup Inc., are currently working on a digital App store platform that will enable banks to access a variety of blockchain-based applications, the companies said on Monday, 30 July according to Reuters.

The platform dubbed LedgerConnect will offer financial institutions the ability to access applications and services provided by different vendors in areas such as customer compliance checks, sanctions screening, and collateral management. CLS disclosed that LedgerConnect will make it easier for banks to access distributed ledger technology (DLT) solutions from fintech and software providers like know-your-customer (KYC) processes, derivatives post-trade processing and reconciliation and market data.

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LedgerConnect can help increase awareness and adoption of blockchain-related applications.

The system would be based on a model similar to that of popular consumer app stores, LedgerConnect will address the gap in the connection between fintech startups, large tech firms, and the financial sector. CLS and IBM hope that LedgerConnect can help increase awareness and adoption of blockchain-related applications by financial firms.

“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,” Keith Bear, IBM’s vice president for financial markets said.

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In order to meet the industry’s technical and security standards required by financial firms, a shared platform model managed by an existing market structure provider would be used. CLS Chief Strategy and Development Officer Alan Marquard said in an interview that his company performs over $5 trillion of payment instructions a day for its members which include many of the world’s largest financial institutions such as Barclays and Citi.

At this time, Barclays is participating in the LedgerConnect proof-of-concept for a new network for blockchain applications. Lee Braine, from the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Barclays’ investment bank, disclosed that after LedgerConnect is tested and implemented and there is sufficient market demand, CLS and IBM plans to make it widely available to the fintech and financial services industry.

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