Goldman Sachs Files Patent for Cryptocurrency System SETLcoin
Thirteen banks have joined an alliance to develop commercial applications of distributed ledger technology in the financial industry.
Blockchain technology associated with Bitcoin has caught the eye of bankers, but now comes the hard part: figuring out where it can be used international payments, treasury services or elsewhere without wasting a lot of time and money in experimentation.
Though lukewarm about Bitcoin itself, bankers see promise in the technology it runs on, specifically the distributed ledger, for efficiency and security improvements in areas like payments and securities handling.
Circle Internet Financial, a Bitcoin wallet provider, is looking to expand to China with the help of new investor IDG Capital Partners, which joined the $50 million Series C investment the company just secured.
Goldman Sachs is seeking to create its own cryptocurrency for post-trade settlement, according to a recently released patent filing.
The cryptocurrency, called SETLcoin, would be the architecture behind a new securities settlement system for the banking giant that would reduce delays in the transfer of assets; the time between when the transaction is initiated and finalized can take days.
SETLcoin guarantees instant execution and settlement, according to the filing, submitted October 2014.
"As implemented by the described technology, a trader no longer trades securities by meeting at an exchange with an indication of cash for security and then settles the transaction… meanwhile bearing all of the associated credit risk in the interim," it says.
Goldman isn't the first to patent its own cryptocurrency. Citi and Bank of New York Mellon have also created them, CitiCoin and BK Coins respectively, for internal testing of blockchain technology.
Banks have become increasingly interested in blockchain technology this year. Goldman Sachs was one of the inaugural members of the R3CEV consortium, which now has 30 members and is expected to announce more soon. That firm is developing a similar distributed ledger-based settlement platform with which its members can experiment.