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Synaps Successfully Tests Blockchain Loan Servicing: Tech Roundup

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Synaps Loans announced on Thursday that it has created and tested a working blockchain solution for servicing syndicated loans.

Synaps is a joint venture between Ipreo, a fintech and analytics provider, and Symbiont, which provides distributed ledger technology for institutions.

“Synaps now has the majority of the functionality needed to implement blockchain technology at scale in the syndicated loan market, which enables us to move into the final stages of development,” according to Emmanuel Aidoo, head of the distributed ledger and blockchain effort at Credit Suisse, which helped arrange the project. Blockchain consortium R3’s Lab and Research Center managed testing for the solution.

Aidoo said in a statement, “Over the coming months we will work with Symbiont and Ipreo to implement the remaining functions to allow for distributed ledger technology to support a syndicated loan facility from origination to payoff, and work toward market adoption. The technical and market expertise that the project participants brought to the table means this solution will be tailor-made for use in live transactions.”

“With this project we have proven that smart contracts can revolutionize the entire lifecycle of a loan, from creation to settlement in secondary trading,” Mark Smith, co-founder and CEO of Symbiont, said in the statement. “Fifteen different parties played roles in the final demo, executing bespoke and complex tasks on-platform. We look forward to working with these parties to deploy the technology in production.”

(Related: Consumers Can Now Trade Gold on a Distributed Ledger)

On Tuesday, IBM, Natixis and Trafigura, a commodities trading group, introduced a distributed ledger solution to let commodities traders conduce U.S. crude oil transactions.

Trading partners on the ledger would be able to share trade documents, shipment updates, and delivery and payment status. 

The distributed ledger is built on the Linux Foundation’s open source Hyperledger Fabric, a global blockchain collaboration between firms across multiple industries, and is hosted on IBM’s Bluemix cloud platform. The project was led by IBM France.

Arnaud Stevens, Natixis’ New York head of global energy and commodities, said in a statement that the company is looking for ways to “use blockchain to enhance client service by optimizing the antiquated arena of commodity trade finance.”

“The current process is paper and labor intensive,” he continued. “We have multiple friction points with high processing costs and limited automation. Distributed ledger technology brings some much-needed innovation into our industry.”

James Wallis, vice president of blockchain markets and engagements for IBM, said in the statement that using a distributed ledger on the Hyperledger Fabric “has the potential to transform the crude oil industry by creating consistency in trade finance and by digitizing transactions and information sharing. Creating this ecosystem for the commodities market working with two world leaders in this industry will help create an entirely new approach to managing the global commodities trade.”

Earlier this month, ActiveAllocator, a fintech company that focuses on allocations of traditional, illiquid and alternative investments within portfolios, introduced mapping technology that instantly categorizes over 4 million securities to their asset subclasses.

The propriety mapping tool is the work of two years of research, according to a statement,

“While conventional portfolio analysis tools typically cover just a few thousand stocks and funds, this is but a small portion of the millions of financial instruments in the investable universe,” according to Brian Jones, cofounder of ActiveAllocator. “Our comprehensive approach not only overcomes these limitations of scope, but also enables significant business and operational benefits to not only asset allocation but also to trade negotiation, execution, settlement and clearing processes.”