Insight & Analysis

Press release: 39 firms complete global trial of KYC on Corda blockchain platform

Published: Jul 2018

28th June 2018 – Enterprise blockchain software firm, R3, today announced that its partners have completed over 300 transactions on a Know Your Customer (KYC) application built on the Corda blockchain platform during a four-day collaborative trial.

A total of 39 firms participated in the project, including ABN AMRO, ALD Automotive, Alfa Bank, Bank ABC, Bank of Cyprus, BCI, BNP Paribas, China Merchants Bank, Commercial International Bank – Egypt, CTBC Holding, Deutsche Bank, DNB, Hana Bank, ING, KB Kookmin Bank, Banca Mediolanum, Natixis, National Bank of Egypt, NH Nonghyup Bank, Qiwi, Raiffeisen Bank International, RCI Bank and Services – the financial services provider for Groupe Renault, SBI Bank LLC, Shinhan Bank, Societe Generale, US Bank and Woori Bank. In addition, the regulators and central banks involved included Banco de la República (Central Bank of Colombia), Federal Reserve of Boston, Superintendencia Financiera de Colombia, and Superintendencia de Banca Seguros y AFP de Peru.

The transactions were conducted in 19 countries across eight time zones. Banks were able to request access to customer KYC test data, whilst customers could approve requests and revoke access. Customers were also able to update their test data which was then automatically updated for all banks with permission to access it.

The 39 participants deployed and ran a total of 45 nodes in Microsoft Azure, demonstrating the power of collaboration using shared business logic on the Corda network. The participants were able to communicate and manage test customer KYC data across the Corda network using a CorDapp designed and built by Synechron.

Traditional KYC processes are complex and often duplicative. This self-sovereign model allows corporate customers to create and manage their own identities including relevant documentation and then grant permission to multiple participants to access this data. This reduces duplication and costs by eliminating the need for each institution to individually attest and update KYC records.

In addition, Corda’s unique approach to sharing data, whereby only those with a need to see it will have access, addresses any concerns around data privacy and security that may arise when sharing identity data.

David E. Rutter, CEO of R3, said, “KYC requirements present a significant challenge to financial institutions and the process is often slow and time-consuming. As our corporate membership continues to grow, there has been increasing demand for blockchain-based KYC solutions. Not only does this project demonstrate how blockchain can allow institutions to retain control of and manage their own identity, but it also validates the design choices we made in our approach to privacy on Corda.”

Tim Coates, US Blockchain Lead at Synechron, comments, “We are proud to continue to advance KYC processes for banks, corporates, regulators and data services, and are grateful for the support of R3 and its member banks. The Corda platform solves many of the KYC-specific requirements, and supports gradual network adoption. Blockchain’s immutability used as a new verification mechanism, and its peer-to-peer nature enabling greater data privacy, are two of the native features that have attracted many in the KYC sector to blockchain. This initiative attempts to begin to solve some of the substantial problem statements behind Corporate KYC, re-working the KYC Utilities of the past – from centralized to decentralized; from trusted to trustless; from 3rd party data stores to controlling your own data.”

Yorke Rhodes, Principal, Azure Blockchain Engineering of Microsoft, comments, “As financial institutions and fintechs move their blockchain projects from innovation labs to lines of business, they require a seamless integration between their preferred ledger stack and infrastructure, and a robust set of platform components and tooling to develop, manage, and optimize blockchain applications. With R3 and Synechron, we have both the technology and industry expertise to help our banking sector accelerate blockchain projects aimed at solving shared business problems.”

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