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Italian Banks Successfully Complete First Test of Blockchain

The Italian Banking Association (ABI), a group of 14 Italian banks working on a blockchain trial, has successfully passed the first phase of testing their blockchain-powered interbank system, according to Italian media outlet Ansa. The aim of the project, being carried out by ABI lab, the banking research and innovation centre promoted by the Italian Banking Association, is to increase data transparency and visibility, speed in executing transactions, and enabling checks and exchanges directly within the application.

Two months’ worth of data – or 1.2 million movements – was uploaded to the infrastructure that corresponds to the banks working on the ‘Spunta Project’. A statement noted the performance was good, so the next test will involve participating banks working on a daily basis with the new application based on distributed databases.

With the blockchain, data is not stored on a single computer but is distributed on several interconnected machines, meaning transaction management is shared between several nodes on a network. Without having to rely on a single centralised entity, this distributed ledger technology (DLT), changes the exchange of value between participants.
This project focuses on interbank reconciliation, which verifies the matching of correspondent accounts that involve two different banks. According to ABI Lab, the application of DLT can improve specific aspects of current operations that can result in discrepancies that are difficult for the banks to manage,

The work group selected the Corda DLT platform developed by R3, in collaboration with Ntt Data, for development of the application.

According to ABI’s website, the project is implemented by the following banks: Banca Mediolanum, Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, Banca Sella, BNL – Gruppo BNP Paribas, Banca Popolare di Sondrio, Banco BPM, CheBanca! – Gruppo Mediobanca, Credito Emiliano, Crédit Agricole, Credito Valtellinese, Iccrea Banca, Intesa Sanpaolo, Nexi Banca, Ubi.

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