Through all the talk of new technology – what are the new services and benefits that market participants will actually experience from it? A panel at Sibos, in Amsterdam on Tuesday, tried to squeeze the business juice out of the blockchain fruit basket. Deutsche Börse’s Jens Hachmeister urged market participants to dare cooperating more with their competitors to develop new market capabilities.

As internet users, we would never accept using different web browsers and connect to separate internets in order to watch different web pages, Yuval Rooz of system provider Digital Asset pointed out. Similarly, as end users of decentralised financial services in the future, we will just want it to work, in an interoperable way.

On Tuesday, Yuval Rooz took part in a panel, labelled “A tokenised future: What does it mean for financial services and its customers?”, together with … 
David Durouchoux, Société Générale,
Jens Hachmeister, Clearstream (Deutsche Börse),
Rosie Hampson, Goldman Sachs (taking part remotely), and
Saloni Shukla, The Economic Times, who led the discussion.

Jens Hachmeister started by setting a wide frame for the concept of digital assets. Yes, they could live on blockchains or other DLT, but also on centralised platforms. And while many specialists spend time talking about preferences between private and public blockchains, the panellists were more concerned with which use cases banks and other market participants should engage in. Jens Hachmeister suspected that many of these market participants might be over-reluctant to collaborate with competitors. He advocated more of “coopetition” (a word very frequently heard across the stages at Sibos through the first two days of the event).

A number of potential benefits were discussed. Fundamentally, the idea of a shared original data (a “golden copy”), as opposed to parallel copies requiring reconciliation processes, could save a lot of work in post trade. Other benefits could be fractionalisation of assets down to sizes where retail investors can buy them. This would need support by a capability for “atomic settlement” on the infrastructure, so again a reason for market participants to take coordinated action. Also, Jens Hachmeister picked a positive example from issuance, where his own company has been able to cut the lead time from three days to nine minutes on its platform called D7.