SWIFT announces Proof-of-Concept for DLT integration

on Jan 30, 2019
Updated: Jun 14, 2024
  • The chief executive officer of SWIFT
  • According to the press release
  • Price of the Ripple token (XRP) has surged to a four-day high of $0.319 following the announcement

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The chief executive officer of SWIFT, Gottfried Leibbrandt, announced today that the global banking payment network, would be testing integration with the platform of blockchain consortium R3.

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As reported by industry website Coindesk, Leibbrandt made the initial announcement earlier today at the Paris Fintech Forum. SWIFT later issued an official press release, providing further details about the development.

According to the press release, the Belgium-based company will launch a Proof-of-Concept (PoC) to trial gpi Link, “a gateway to interlink ecommerce and trading platforms with SWIFT gpi”. This new system will “seamlessly connect gpi members to multiple trade platforms thereby enabling gpi payment initiation, end-to-end payment tracking, payer authentication and credit confirmation”.

Notably, the first stage of the PoC will work on R3’s blockchain platform Corda and “aims to bring the benefits of gpi payments’ speed, ubiquity and certainty to distributed ledger technology (DLT)-enabled trade”. SWIFT said that the PoC would eventually be extended to support other DLT, non-DLT and e-commerce trading platforms.

It’s worth noting that Leibbrandt announced the news while he was on a panel alongside Brad Garlinghouse, the chief executive officer of Ripple, which aims to challenge SWIFT in the cross-border payment sector. Ripple’s enterprise blockhain payment solution, RippleNet, has so far been adopted by more than 200 financial institutions worldwide, whereas SWIFT has some 10,000 banks on its network.

Interestingly, the price of the Ripple token (XRP) has surged to a four-day high of $0.319 following the announcement, an increase of more than 10% from yesterday’s close. While it’s unclear whether the news has had an effect on the Ripple price, the spike might suggest that crypto investors see SWIFT’s renewed interest in DLT as a possible indication that the Belgian company considers the blockchain start-up as a potential threat. Traders might also be taking into account the deepening ties between Ripple and R3. While the two companies are rivals in the blockchain space and were previously engaged in a legal battle, XRP became the first cryptocurrency to be supported in the Corda Settler app that was launched in December.