SWIFT Event to Discuss Bitcoin’s Impact on Banking

An event to be held by the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) next month is set to include a panel of payments and cryptocurrency professionals.

Taking place in New York, the Business Forum panel will discuss cryptographic protocols and their potential impact on correspondent banks, those that provides services to other financial entities.

Head of banking markets Wim Raymaekers will moderate the panel, which will include Cheryl Gurz, managing director of the Emerging Technology Segment at BNY Mellon Treasury Services; Marc Hochstein, editor in chief of American Banker; and New York Law School professor and Coin Center fellow Houman Shadab.

The payments communications network is the creator of the Business Identifier Codes (BICs), more commonly known as SWIFT codes, which are required of banks to process wire transfers.

Panelists will discuss the way cryptographic protocols are affecting and challenging wire transfer, automated clearinghouse (ACH) payments and other existing technologies and money-moving solutions for global banking and cross-border payments.

“The practice of correspondent banking [is] still at the heart of most cross-border payments. However, every day we read announcements in the press about new entrants, startups and crypto-protocols challenging correspondent banking,” the event summary reads.

Evolution of Financial Messaging Systems

SWIFT is extensively used for inter-bank communications and the messaging protocol is used to communicate payment orders between banks, which are then settled by the correspondent accounts that the banks have opened with each other. SWIFT uses ISO 15022 and the more recent ISO 20022 for communication.

However, with the emergence of a number of new crypto-protocols, the idea of settling correspondent banking itself might become obsolete, since a global ledger like Bitcoin means it is possible to monitor balances in real-time and settle debts and accounts on a near real-time basis. The blockchain also provides for additional transparency in the process, and also makes it a more scalable solution for smaller transactions, such as retail banking relationships.

SWIFT works with more than 10,800 banking and securities institutions worldwide. It is also the host of the annual SIBOS conference for financial services industry members.

The Business Forum will take place 3rd March at the Marriott Marquis in New York. The crypto-protocols panel is scheduled to begin at 13:30.

Source: http://www.coindesk.com/swift-event-bitcoin-banking/

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