Thomson Reuters Experimenting with Blockchain Contracts Service
Thomson Reuters, the media giant, is opening up its data to smart contract authors building on private versions of the ethereum blockchain and R3's Corda distributed ledger platform. A “Smart Oracle” called BlockOne IQ (B1IQ) was released to power smart contracts with the kind of reliable financial information required to let counterparties transact without a middleman.
Using the long stemmed trust in Thomson Reuter’s data, this data being made available is useful for actions including the payment of dividends, stock splits "and anything where the company’s equity is impacted by some sort of action," according to Sam Chadwick, director of Thomson Reuters financial and risk management division. Currently, the oracle is only experimental.
The Oracle is still in the proof- of concept phase. As an example of how a smart contract could facilitate more sophisticated deals, Chadwick described an interest rate swap where one party would pay a floating rate based on the London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor). While the role of Libor in such a smart contract would stay the same each time the contract was executed, the number itself changes daily based on industry data. And Thomson Reuters keeps up with those changes. So, a rate swap powered by such a smart contract would query the B1IQ oracle and based on the result, determine which party owes how much. Chadwick added, “the bank plays the middle role, and what we have been looking at is ways in which smart contract can play the roles instead.”