EquiChain, a London-based Fintech company with an Asia regional office in Hong Kong, announces its working prototype for capital markets. The company plans to implement a full end-to-end ‘execution to custody’ (E2C) pilot in 2017, positioning EquiChain to deliver the full potential of distributed ledger technology (DLT).
The company also announces the closing of its initial funding round, secured from its board members, advisors and close stakeholders.
EquiChain has already established an impressive coalition of active supporters, including top global asset managers such as Henderson Global Investors and Legal & General Investment Management. Reflecting its focus on enhancing the investment viability of emerging and frontier markets, beginning with the Middle East, EquiChain is also supported by the Abu Dhabi Global Market, Bahrain Bourse and Qatar Stock Exchange.
To ensure EquiChain’s capital markets platform maximises its potential in the years ahead, the company has established two industry working groups, one focusing on Institutional Investors, the other on Market Infrastructure. These working groups bring together thought leaders from across the industry to ensure an effective and considered development of the platform while embracing current and future regulatory requirements.
Nicholas Bone, EquiChain’s Founder & CEO said: “The current securities transaction lifecycle is complex, costly, time-consuming and fraught with risk. EquiChain will use DLT to redefine securities transaction flows creating a full ‘execution to custody’ capability. EquiChain’s core platform is an independent, flexible foundational technology that allows incumbent market participants to redefine their roles in the industry. EquiChain creates a verifiable, transparent and immutable flow of information, facilitating direct interaction and enabling the streamlining of market processes. EquiChain’s innovation will catalyse industry collaboration to define a new capital markets operating model.”
Bone continued: “Blockchain is particularly relevant for emerging and frontier markets, which are often perceived by foreign investors as being higher risk, while typically having less cumbersome existing infrastructure to accommodate. DLT gives such markets the opportunity to leapfrog existing solutions to deliver greater efficiency, liquidity and ease of access.”
EquiChain is also notable for its world class board which includes Peter Sands, former Group CEO of leading international bank, Standard Chartered plc, and Chief Technology Officer Hugh Madden, co-founder of one of the largest blockchain solutions providers in the industry, ANX International.
The EquiChain advisory board benefits from the deep experience of Markus Ruetimann, former Group COO of global asset manager, Schroders plc. EquiChain has also engaged Professor Eva Micheler, Associate Professor in Law at the London School of Economics, whose work focuses on the infrastructure underpinning financial markets. Sonia Rossetti, a banker and Chair of SWIFT UK National Member will bring her expertise in establishing industry standards, product development and a governance culture to EquiChain.
Peter Sands said: “The hype phase of blockchain is over. Now it’s time to deploy workable solutions that deliver tangible business benefits.”
Markus Ruetimann, Senior Advisor, commented: “Accessing frontier and emerging markets poses many operational challenges. EquiChain's solutions will make investing, trade tracking and data flows much more efficient and robust. This will make these markets more accessible for investment, whilst reinforcing local infrastructure.”
Hugh Madden said “EquiChain’s working prototype is a hybrid system which consolidates the currently siloed functions of a securities transaction such as an asset manager, custodian, broker, exchange and Central Securities Depository. EquiChain also allows the direct interaction and the exchange of value between market participants, without the current need for multiple touchpoints and the inefficient interaction of different systems. EquiChain’s use of cryptographic signatures reduces counterparty risk and prevents fraud, making blockchain-based transfers safer than other alternatives.”
Madden will serve as Chief Technology Officer and lead the technical direction of EquiChain. He brings 17 years of experience in developing and managing institutional and retail financial technology operations, in addition to designing low latency trading platform architecture.
Bone said: “To the best of our knowledge EquiChain is the most developed solution bringing the benefits of DLT to capital markets. We are thrilled by the positive support for EquiChain received so far from leading global asset managers, infrastructure and regulators. This is also a testament to EquiChain’s unrivalled management and technology teams, and our world class advisory board.”