Commerzbank, Deutsche Börse and MEAG, the Asset Manager of Munich Re and ERGO, have reached a further step in examining the scope of distributed ledger technology in post-trade services. The partners completed the settlement of a legally binding secondary market securities transaction via tokens; Commerzbank further used the tokenised cash as collateral at Eurex Clearing as Central Counterparty. The prototype scenario reflected a delivery-versus-payment transaction and the transfer of tokenised cash, aiming on exploring the potential of various comprehensive services leveraging distributed ledger technology.
For this transaction, digital tokens were generated using both commercial bank money (cash tokens) and securities (securities tokens). The simultaneous swap of the tokens as final and binding settlement was enabled by using distributed ledger technology. As a further use case for cash tokens, Commerzbank provided the tokenised cash credits for coverage of margin requirements to Eurex Clearing as central counterparty as part of their operative risk management.
Eurex Clearing acted as tokeniser of cash, MEAG as the buyer of securities and Commerzbank as the seller and the custodian of the securities tokens. Main incubator, Commerzbank’s research and development unit, provided the blockchain platform. The underlying technology and the legal concept were jointly developed by Commerzbank and Deutsche Börse. As a first step of their collaboration on DLT, Commerzbank and Deutsche Börse already completed a legally binding repo transaction earlier this year.
“This is an important joint effort in further exploring the potential of distributed ledger technology for the financial services industry," said Jens Hachmeister, head of New Markets at Deutsche Börse Group. "By combining multiple use cases within these transactions, we have broadened the scope of applications where the market can benefit from possible standards in this new technology. Our goal is to foster our role as financial infrastructure provider of choice.”
“After our first collaboration with Deutsche Börse in March 2019, we are pleased to jointly reach a further milestone in using DLT for post-trade-services in capital markets," commented Benjamin Duve, head of Custody & Direct Market Access, Commerzbank. "We will continue to work on these topics to provide our clients with market-ready solutions.”
“For us as investor, distributed ledger technology has a significant potential to increase efficiency of operations," added Dr. Frank Wellhöfer, member of the board of management at MEAG. "By reducing the need for intermediaries, the transaction process of securities is going to accelerate furthermore. The involvement of tokens representing securities and money will facilitate network efficiencies and build a foundation for the creation of standards. This is important for the buy side as standards lead to broader market acceptance and thus create liquidity on DLT platforms in general.”
The concept of this test transaction has been shared with regulatory and oversight authorities. Further productive introduction remains subject to their approval and the compliance with regulatory requirements and applicable policies. The partners aim to further develop financial markets infrastructure and services for the future, first steps to establish a respective framework have recently been initiated by the German Federal Government.
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