The ABI Italian Job Proceeds to the Next Level
The ABI Lab Italian job has now proceeded to the next phase. The project, which is currently being headed by IBA (Italian Banking Association) has brought together a total of fourteen banks. The banks are hopeful that they can come up with their own blockchain-based interbank reconciliation project.
Some of the banks that are currently involved in this project include:
- Banca Mediolanum
- Intesa Sanpaolo
- Banca Monte dei Pasci di Siena
- Credit Agricole
- Icrrea Banca
- Credito Emiliano
- Nexi Banca, and many others
This project was started in December last year (2017). Apart from the fourteen banks, the Italian Banking Association is also working in collaboration with other partners like Sia, Ntt Data, and R3.
The Italian Banking Association recently released a press report indicating that they had been able to upload two months of data into the infrastructure successfully. The data was uploaded to 14 nodes, which represents the fourteen banks that are collaborating on this project.
IBA has referred to this project as the Interbank Spunta project. In the last data upload, the association was able to capture a total of 1,200,000 movements. The data upload was meant to gauge the performance of the blockchain technology.
From the results of the upload, they were able to conclude that it was a success and that its performance was above par. This now means that they can continue to the next phase knowing that everything is going according to schedule.
The next phase will involve conducting a number of tests. The new tests will bring together all the participating banks. Once included, the banks will have to work together on a day-to-day basis with the new technology. The banks will be using new applications that are based on distributed databases already implemented on the platform.
The Second Phase
The second stage of testing will see the application of DTL database concepts into the interbank processes. The fourteen bank consortium has chosen the R3 Corda platform and has made plans to collaborate with Ntt Data on application development. SIA, on the other hand, will be responsible for providing the node infrastructure. It will also deal with the issue of defining the new verification processes.
All the work being done right now is totally based on the platforms’ enterprise version. This is a version that was released earlier this year in the month of June. During its release, a few enhancements and modifications were implemented with the aim of using them on this particular project (Spunta).
It is expected that this new process will assist in ensuring that bilateral channels are made available. This is to be achieved without compromising data integrity. The channels that will be made available can be used by the counterparties to exchange valuable information.
The Italian Banking Association is confident that the use of smart contracts and the DLT platform will ensure that banks are able to provide automatic feedback on the transactions being processed. This will help them simplify, as well as accelerate the transactions reconciliation process.