Barclays Becomes a Member of the CLS Blockchain Consortium

Last updated: Mar 30, 2023
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Barclays has been the latest company that added its name to the CLS blockchain consortium. They are joining companies such as JPMorgan, Bank of China and Goldman Sachs.

The CLS consortium aims to use open source technology such as the Hyperledger Fabric blockchain in order to create new channels for the vast foreign exchange market. They aim to connect buy side and sell side institutions such that they can exchange forex that are settled through other means.

Lee Braine, the Barclays CTO claimed that the CLS solution was particularly appealing because the platform will operate in conjunction with the Swift platform. This will allow the clients choice when the connect to the network. They can either connect up via Swift or the Blockchain solution when they log in. The CLS solution (CLS Net) will allow customers to trade with 6 different blockchain products.

Braine also went on to say that there was a desire for a "harmonious" functionality with Swift's current foreign exchange service. This "tiered" approach to block chain technology is favoured by Braine as it allows the customers to adjust according to their preferences.

He laid out an "incremental" roadmap that was split into 10 layers each progressing on the last. At the lowest level, the implementation only requires the existing technology that will be plugged into a third-party blockchain provider. On the other end, the last level of the implementation will have transactions that are fully reliant on the decentralised ledgers with no centralised backup system at all.

There is also the hope that what is learned on this project will help inform future decisions for Barclays in the way of blockchain projects. He told CoinDesk in an interview that

We envisage banks could be at different levels of integration for particular use cases, and yet still being able to participate

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