London, UK-based financial technology company EquiChain announced in a press release it sent to CoinReport its working prototype for capital markets. The company, which also has an Asia regional office in Hong Kong, said in the release that it intends to employ a complete end-to-end “execution to custody” (E2C) pilot in 2017 to position itself to provide the full potential of blockchain technology.

EquiChain also announced the closing of its initial funding round, secured from its close stakeholders, advisors and board members.

The company has already formed an alliance of active supporters, who include such top global asset managers as Legal General Investment Management and Henderson Global Investors. EquiChain is also supported by Qatar Stock Exchange, Bahrain Bourse and Abu Dhabi Global Market – which, the company says, reflects its focus on improving the investment feasibility of frontier and emerging markets, beginning with the Middle East.

In order to ensure that its capital markets platform makes the most of its potential in the future, EquiChain has created two industry working groups, with one focusing on market infrastructure, while the other on institutional investors. The groups, said the company in the release, gather thought leaders from across the industry to ascertain a well-thought-out and effective development of the platform while meeting present and future regulatory requirements.

EquiChain founder and CEO Nicholas Bone said in the release, “The current securities transaction lifecycle is complex, costly, time-consuming and fraught with risk.  EquiChain will use DLT to redefine securities transaction flows creating a full ‘execution to custody’ capability. EquiChain’s core platform is an independent, flexible foundational technology that allows incumbent market participants to redefine their roles in the industry. EquiChain creates a verifiable, transparent and immutable flow of information, facilitating direct interaction and enabling the streamlining of market processes. EquiChain’s innovation will catalyse industry collaboration to define a new capital markets operating model.”

He continued, “Blockchain is particularly relevant for emerging and frontier markets, which are often perceived by foreign investors as being higher risk, while typically having less cumbersome existing infrastructure to accommodate. DLT gives such markets the opportunity to leapfrog existing solutions to deliver greater efficiency, liquidity and ease of access.”

The company’s board includes former Standard Chartered plc group CEO Peter Sands, former Schroders plc. Group COO Markus Ruetimann, London School of Economics associate professor in law Professor Eva Micheler and chair of SWIFT UK national member and a banker Sonia Rossetti.

Huge Madden, co-founder of one of the largest blockchain solutions providers in the industry, ANX International, serves as EquiChain’s chief technology officer.

Sands said on the occasion, “The hype phase of blockchain is over. Now it’s time to deploy workable solutions that deliver tangible business benefits.”

Ruetimann added “Accessing frontier and emerging markets poses many operational challenges. EquiChain’s solutions will make investing, trade tracking and data flows much more efficient and robust. This will make these markets more accessible for investment, whilst reinforcing local infrastructure.”

Madden commented, “EquiChain’s working prototype is a hybrid system which consolidates the currently siloed functions of a securities transaction such as an asset manager, custodian, broker, exchange and Central Securities Depository. EquiChain also allows the direct interaction and the exchange of value between market participants, without the current need for multiple touchpoints and the inefficient interaction of different systems. EquiChain’s use of cryptographic signatures reduces counterparty risk and prevents fraud, making blockchain-based transfers safer than other alternatives.”

Bone concluded, “To the best of our knowledge EquiChain is the most developed solution bringing the benefits of DLT to capital markets.  We are thrilled by the positive support for EquiChain received so far from leading global asset managers, infrastructure and regulators. This is also a testament to EquiChain’s unrivalled management and technology teams, and our world class advisory board.”

Image via press release

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