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SETL launches multibank sandbox with Citi for scalable banking blockchain

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Citi’s Tony McLaughlin has previously written about creating the Regulated Liability Network (RLN), a blockchain network where central banks, commercial banks and e-money issuers participate in a single tiered network where money and assets are tokenized. Citi technology partner SETL says it tested its Global Banking Blockchain, which underpins the RLN and can support a million transactions per second (TPS). 

Scalability is seen as a key blocker in the adoption of enterprise blockchain by financial institutions. Hence, SETL set out to demonstrate how it can address this. 

While a million sounds like a massive figure, especially given Visa processes around 1,700 TPS, on the RLN blockchain network, each participant controls a segregated partition. And the RLN coordinates movement between the partitions. Hence the million figure is based on 1,000 different institutions running at 1,000 transactions per second.

Approval of transactions to be added to a blockchain is a key speed trap, usually with the intention of enhancing security. In this network, transactions are agreed between the participants only, with each participant having the right to veto it.

SETL and Citi used the system as part of the Singapore Global CBDC Challenge, where it was a finalist. In November, it opened a sandbox and says it’s working with global banks, custodians, and payment providers. A webinar later today will explore the network along with SWIFT, Citi, Wells Fargo, Payoneer, and AWS, which hosted the scalability tests. It’s also published a technical whitepaper jointly with AWS where contributors included SWIFT, Citi, Payoneer and Singapore’s OCBC Bank.

“This is a breakthrough moment for financial services,” said Anthony Culligan, Chief Engineer at SETL. “We are deploying the technology used by social media, ride-sharing and online markets, to create an extremely effective payments and settlement infrastructure. It is inherently distributed, secure and resilient.”

So what is this technology used by social media? It is Apache Kafka, a streamed messaging technology that SETL uses in PORTL, its interoperability solution. 

SETL recently open-sourced PORTL alongside its SETL blockchain. The company has a number of successful deployments under its belt, including French fund management platform IZNES and a DLT central depositary solution ID2S.


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