In April 2016, you announced a partnership with the crowdfunding platform Smartangels to develop a blockchain dedicated to unlisted investments. How has the project progressed?
That project focused on unlisted securities that were bought by investors via the Smartangels crowd-equity platform. The first goal was to use Blockchain technology to maintain a ledger of the subscribers and to handle specific corporate actions such as the convening of general meetings. This is the role of a custodian, and we can confirm that the platform worked well from a technical point of view. Today, we have entered an analytical phase: we know that the platform must be complemented by adding new functionalities and we are currently studying which features are essential to allow the management of unlisted securities. Among other things, specific legal concepts will need to evolve.
Which technical decisions did you make regarding the Blockchain?
We used the Nxt protocol, which we installed on a private network. BNP Paribas hosted the central nodes and other participants to the project also had a node at their disposal. The idea is that over time, and as we keep adding partners, the network will grow and become richer and more stable.
We do not use a Proof-of-Work protocol like the Bitcoin blockchain, but instead a Proof-of-Stake protocol, which requires less computing power and is, therefore, faster and more efficient concerning electric consumption.
Do you have other blockchain projects apart from these custodian activities?
“We implemented a Blockchain that allowed us to be independent of the corresponding banks and the Swift network in the case of cross-border cash transactions between clients of BNP Paribas. That was the Cash Without Borders project, which we executed with several corporate clients, and which was also based on the Nxt protocol. These transactions were made using official currencies, without the intervention of a cryptocurrency. We used the Blockchain to register the transactions, to memorize them, date them, and to share them within limited timeframes. While it takes two days — or even more — to complete a transfer via corresponding banks, we can achieve it within 2 hours using the Cash Without Borders system (the step using the blockchain only takes a few seconds, and then we use other systems and processes). The clearing, settlement, and reporting happen in real time, and the primary sources of error are eliminated.”
Q & A with BNP Paribas: Working with Nxt technology. was originally published in Jelurida Blockchain Solutions on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.