Although distributed ledger tech may have lost the mainstream limelight to the likes of AI, that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything interesting happening. On 30 January, SWIFT gpi and R3’s Corda announced a collaboration that will get the two techs working together, with a live demo to be shown in September 2019.;

The SWIFT gpi is built to disrupt correspondent banking, which solves the problem of how a UK bank can deal with transactions in, say, New York, even if it doesn’t have a branch there. The gpi gives each transaction a tracking reference so it can be followed through the system (which was previously a black hole), allows the sender to choose the route through various intermediary banks, see the fee levels, and keep an eye on the performance levels of each intermediary in the process (e.g. do they have a history of delaying things). The SWIFT gpi usually settles cross border transfers in about half an hour, and is basically used by all banks everywhere.

It’s seen as a competitor to Ripple, though the differences are a blog post for another time!

Most of the media reporting on this is recycling the following statement provided by R3:

SWIFT GPI will integrate directly to Corda Settler, the application that allows participants on the Corda blockchain to initiate and settle payment obligations via both traditional and blockchain-based rails. This will enable obligations created or represented on Corda to be settled via the large and growing SWIFT GPI network.

In English that means: it will be much easier for people using Corda to settle crypto transactions in fiat (‘normal money’), from all over the world, very quickly. Corda will settle the payments off-ledger through the SWIFT gpi, which is fast, secure, transparent, and very, very global.

It’s a big move for Corda, and we look forward to seeing the demo at Sibos London in September.