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Nasdaq, Citi Launch Blockchain Payments System: Tech Roundup

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Nasdaq and Citi announced on Monday that they have collaborated to launch a blockchain-based payment system that facilitates straight-through payment processing and reconciliation.

The platform uses blockchain infrastructure from Chain to integrate the CitiConnect for Blockchain platform and Nasdaq’s Linq Platform. It allows for seamless end-to-end transactions for private company securities and cross-border, multi-currency payments. A number of transactions have already been concluded using the platform, according to a statement.

(Related: Edward Snowden Talks WannaCry Attack, Blockchain, Financial Regs)

“This new payment capability marks a milestone in the global financial sector and represents an important moment in the commercial application of blockchain technology,” Adena Friedman, CEO of Nasdaq, said in the statement. “Through this effective integration of blockchain technology and global financial systems, we can realize greater operational transparency and ease of reconciliation, which can have profound implications for outdated administrative functions in the capital markets.”

Naveed Sultan, global head of Citi’s treasury and trade solutions group, called the CitiConnect for Blockchain platform a “crucial bridge between blockchain platforms and Citi’s global financial network. Our partnership with Nasdaq showcases Citi’s client-centric approach to innovation and is an example of how we actively engage with our clients to co-create innovative, leading and differentiated solutions for the global market.”

A new hybrid-robo financial planning platform will launch soon as a result of a partnership between St. Louis, Missouri-based Plancorp and Prumentum Group.

Plancorp is a fee-only wealth management firm with $3.6 billion in assets under management. Prumentum Group is a wealthtech firm based in Silicon Valley. The firms announced on Thursday that Prumentum has “acquired a significant equity stake in Plancorp.”

The platform, BrightPlan, provides users with comprehensive goals-based financial advice. Users can track their progress and assets in real time, with access to a human advisor when they need it. It is wholly owned by Prumentum and will launch later this year, but investors can request early access at

“For many years, we at Plancorp have been actively pursuing an innovative digital solution that extends beyond simply focusing on investments,” Chris Kerckhoff, president of Plancorp, said in a statement. “This partnership enables us to provide the hybrid solution we’ve been seeking with a firm … that shares our values and fiduciary commitment to clients.”

“By combining the proven wealth management expertise of Plancorp with the advanced technology of BrightPlan, we are uniquely positioned to deliver an exceptional service that inspires people to set life and financial goals, and easily implement and track their plan for success,” Marthin De Beer, CEO of Prumentum, added.

Symbiont announced on Thursday that it has added Dr. Alysson Bessani of the University of Lisbon in Portugal to its advisory board.

Bessani is an associate professor in the informatics department at the Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa. He is a co-creator of BFT-SMaRt, a Byzantine-fault-tolerant consensus protocol, which that lets a server or network complete a command even if the sequence required to do so deviates from what is expected as a result of a software bug or hacker.

“Symbiont has always distinguished itself with its depth of technical expertise.” Adam Krellenstein, co-founder and chief technology officer of Symbiont, said in a statement. “Adding Dr. Bessani to our advisory board gives Symbiont a significant competitive advantage in the development of distributed systems.”

In late April, Symbiont added a Yale professor, Dr. Zhong Shao, to its advisory board. Shao is a professor fo computer science at Yale University. He leads the FLINT research group at the university.  

“Professor Shao’s incredible depth of experience in designing and developing secure computing systems will be invaluable to Symbiont in our endeavor to radically improve the state of financial back-office infrastructure using smart contracts and distributed ledger technology,” Krellenstein said in a statement announcing Shao’s addition to the board. “Symbiont’s smart contract language is already the most advanced in the industry, and the work we are doing with Dr. Shao will widen the gap between our technology and that of our closest competitors.”

— Read Synaps Successfully Tests Blockchain Loan Servicing: Tech Roundup on ThinkAdvisor. 


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