Swift’s CEO, Gottfried Leibbrandt Announces Company’s Trial Of DLT Integration With R3

For decades, Swift has been the primary provider of global banking payment services. Using traditional means, the company has built a global presence and is currently dominating the cross-border payment sector. Now, this financial institution is considering using decentralized technology to make its network more efficient. This is according to the speech given by the companies CEO Gottfried Leibbrandt during the Paris Fintech Forum yesterday. In Leibbrandt’s words:

“Later today, we are going to announce our integration with R3 consortium.”

Shortly after, the details of the announcement were made by Todd McDonald, the one of R3’s founders. He explained that a trial will be carried out to connect the GPI Link gateway of Swift to the Corda platform by R3. The goal is to support application programming interfaces, monitor the flow of payments and support ISO and Swift standards. In his words:

“Swift GPI will be integrating with the Corda Settler directly. This will allow Corda blockchain participants to carry out transactions through blockchain-based and traditional platforms. This will allow transactions on the Corda network to be settled through the large Swift GPI network.”

Swift Experiments With Decentralised Ledger Technology

The trial will allow actors using R3’s Corda to authorize payments through the GPI Link. These GPI payments will subsequently be settled by corporate banks. The credit confirmation will reflect on the platform through the GPI Link. The trial only focused on R3’s trade environment. However, it will eventually be improved to support other DLT and non +-DLT trade platforms. It will also be extended to e-commerce platforms.

The CEO of R3, David E. Rutter, said:

“After the launch of the Corda Settler, which was completed recently, payments can now be settled efficiently on the platform, we believed that it would make sense to plug into the SWIFT GPI. This is because the Swift GPI is currently the standard for payment settlements on a global scale. This integration will be beneficial to all the blockchains running on Corda. Also, Swift GPI banks will enjoy secure, fast and transparent settlements.”

The chief marketing officer at Swift, Luc Meurant said:

“All trade platforms need a tight link with secure, fast and trusted cross-border payments mechanisms like GPI. As DLT-powered trade is becoming increasingly popular, there is little appetite for settlement in cryptocurrencies and a need for safe, fast and efficient settlements in fiat currencies.”

According to Meurant, banks will be able to use the GPI Link to offer users fast, and transparent settlement services. He continued:

“Considering the adoption of the Corda platform by the trade ecosystems, it’s natural to perform this proof of concept on R3’s platform.”

During the event in Paris, Ripple’s Brad Garlinghouse was also onstage with Leibbrandt. Garlinghouse and his company have been working on technologies that will give them a portion of Swift’s market share. The products by Ripple are faster and cheaper than Swift. However, it’s going to take a long time and extensive work for Ripple to eventually take over from Swift assuming this is possible.

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R3 launched Corda in December to enable cryptocurrency payments on a global scale within enterprise blockchains. These blockchains will use Ripple’s XRP to start. The consortium said that XRP was the first cryptocurrency in the world to be supported on Corda. This also showed that Ripple and R3 have moved passed their disputes.

Do you think Swift will eventually implement this DLT technology? Feel free to comment.

Max writes about blockchain projects and regulation with a special focus on United States and China. He joined Smarterum after years of writing for various media outlets.


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