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July 19, 2017

London Stock Exchange, IBM partner on blockchain for SMEs

SMEs form yet another area that is targetted for disruption and improvement with blockchain technology.

By Tom Ball

London Stock Exchange-owned Borsa Italiana is set to work alongside IBM on a blockchain solution for small and medium sized (SME) businesses.

The goal of the project is to digitise the process by which securities are issued to businesses in this category; this would simplify a complex process that involves certificate data and the management of shareholder information.

Using this method, the targeted solution is the creation of a distributed registry that would be shared by parties involved containing the transaction records of shareholders.

This concept marks yet another use case for the adaptable blockchain technology, as it would in theory equip SME businesses with enhanced access to credit, in addition to the data exchange enabled by the technology.

Marie Wieck, general manager, IBM Blockchain said: “Sharing secure and transparent critical network data across shareholder networks is difficult using traditional system… Blockchain is poised to help remove some of these barriers in traditional methods for the transfer of value – much as the Internet did for the exchange of information in the late 1990s.”

London Stock Exchange, IBM partner on blockchain for SMEs

This viewpoint expressed by Wieck outlines blockchain as holding truly disruptive potential, aligning it with the Internet, which will likely go down in history as having been symbolic of a new era.

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Chris Corrado, Group COO and CIO, London Stock Exchange Group said: “LSEG is testing the use of blockchain technology in a financial business network where data segregation and confidentiality is vital. By working with IBM, a pioneer in building enterprise-class blockchain solutions, we are committed to building, testing, and scaling our capabilities in emerging technologies over time.”

READ MORE: Banks to test blockchain using Swift application

The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance comprises major organisations including JPMorgan, Accenture, and Microsoft, all working together to make blockchain viable within the enterprise.

Raffaele Jerusalmi, CEO, Borsa Italiana said: “Through our work with IBM on this blockchain solution, Borsa Italiana is taking the lead in transforming the way European SMEs can manage their shareholder data and at the same time expand credit access – all on a trusted digital platform.”

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