Scotiabank has completed a months-long blockchain trial using technology developed by AlphaPoint, the financial infrastructure technology startup announced Thursday.
During the trial, Scotiabank trade reports were transformed so that they could be stored on a blockchain. AlphaPoint's proprietary platform converted the FIXML messages—electronic messages related to securities transactions—to smart contracts that could be verified across the entire network.
The Toronto-based bank considered and tested several use cases for AlphaPoint's technology, the vendor said.
Many view 2017 as a make-or-break year for blockchain technology. A number of companies have been doing trial runs and proofs of concept, but some participants, including Eric Piscini, a principal with Deloitte Consulting, which recently opened a blockchain laboratory in New York, have recently said that proof-of-concept "fatigue" is setting in. The goal for Deloitte and others now is to deploy working prototypes.
Founded in 2013, AlphaPoint provides a distributed ledger network designed designed for the digitization and trading of financial assets to cut back-office costs. The platform has seen more than $1 billion in transactions to date, the company says.
A recent study by the consulting firms Accenture and McLagan estimated that large-scale use of blockchain technology such as AlphaPoint's could save financial institutions $8 billion to $12 billion a year. The savings are predicted to be especially high when it comes to reporting, post-trade settlement and compliance costs.
"Distributed ledger technology enables institutions to rethink how data flows within their organizations," Joe Ventura, AlphaPoint's founder and CEO, said in a statement released on Thursday. Scotiabank, he added, "is leading the charge by proving out pragmatic, near-term implementations of this revolutionary technology."
AlphaPoint's platform boasts confirmation times of less than a second, according to a statement. The open-source bitcoin network, which pioneered blockchain technology, looks sluggish by comparison, often needing several minutes or more to confirm transactions.