Blockchain – a new tool to cut costs

The traditional dominance of active asset managers in the maintenance of the portfolios of both institutional and retail investors is under heavy pressure. When both nominal and real interest rates were higher and when regulation was less arduous and costly it was significantly easier to deliver satisfactory net returns.

Operating in a low interest rate environment is challenging enough for fixed income investors who are acquiring sovereign debt at significant risk and despite it’s frequently generating negative returns before costs.

Regulatory compliance and fund administration services must then be accounted for and these alone can suck away whole percentage points of income. On top of that, the managers need to be left with sufficient excess revenue in order to cover their own costs and to leave a profit for their shareholders.

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The FCA has made an important announcement

The FCA has announced the successful applicants to its Regulatory Sandbox Cohort 2.

BlockEx has been one of those successful companies!

This is fantastic news for the company who is developing innovative uses for blockchain technology in capital markets, specifically with regards to the issuance and lifecycle management of traditional assets such as bonds, issued onto underlying blockchain infrastructure. Exciting times lay ahead for BlockEx who will shortly be testing its innovative blockchain based products and services within the safe conceptual space of the FCA sandbox.

The aim of the sandbox is to:

  • reduced time-to-market at potentially lower cost
  • appropriate consumer protection safeguards built into new products and services
  • better access to finance

The FCA states that the sandbox offers tools such as restricted authorisation, individual guidance, waivers and no enforcement action letters. The FCA will closely oversee trials using a customised regulatory environment for each pilot – including safeguards for financial consumers.

This is a step forward for a blockchain company wanting to operate in the UK’s financial industry which is heavily regulated. Technological attributes of blockchain technology in certain applications in capital markets aggregates a number of traditional separate financial activities which is why it is imperative that BlockEx works with the regulator.

The tests will be reviewed by both the firm and the firm’s sandbox to assess the test against a range of success measures. BlockEx is using this opportunity as a stepping stone to becoming a fully authorised financial service provider in the UK.  

For more information on the FCA and the Sandbox please visit their website:


Winston & Strawn LLP and BlockEx have teamed up to provide a cutting edge bond issuance platform

BlockEx has partnered with Winston & Strawn LLP, an international law firm, which will create standardised legal documentation templates which will form the basis of the smart contracts establishing bond issuances through the platform.

These standardised templates, which will cover approximately 90% of the documentation required [will dramatically reduce the time and costs for bond issuances. BlockEx has 12 new issues currently under due diligence vetting and the intention is for the first issue to be made in in [May] 2017.

BlockEx is leveraging its existing software to bring about enhanced automation to the entire lifecycle of a bond in order to reduce costs for market participants.

The BlockEx Digital Asset Platform is one of the few large scale production-ready Blockchain products and will be launching end of May 2017 with a full exchange, white label brokerage and debt origination tools that allows for full lifecycle management of Blockchain based financial assets.

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Blockchain in Trade Finance

Adding intermediaries into an equation or chain rarely translates into efficiency, but leads to costs, complexities and increases the risk of errors and missteps. The vast transactional chains in the financial industry serve the livelihoods of many providers across the entire ecosystem, yet it does not always benefit the end users and their commercials.

Core Challenges in Trade Finance

Trade finance is a notoriously cumbersome process dominated by intermediaries and it is an area of financial services which has made little progress in terms of automation. Settlement can take weeks depending on the jurisdictions involved in the supply chain, and the process is notoriously opaque. Instructions for remittances and verifications and approvals are often authorised with limited visibility into the transactional chain, which can lead to oversights and duplications.

It is often contingent on unique rules and mechanics across different countries, at conflicting levels of development. Many of these processes involve a host of intermediaries including entities which lie outside of financial services such as customs agents, health and safety inspectors, and transport groups.

Analysis by the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) estimated 15% of the overall value of traded goods comprised of hidden costs, much of it a result of manual processes. The OECD added this translated into losses of $100 billion per year. At a time when revenues are under significant pressure, this is a huge sum.

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Blockex hires head of Capital Markets

Blockex hires head of Capital Markets

We are pleased to announce that James Godfrey has joined us to take up the role of MD, Capital Markets. James has over thirty years experience in the bond markets, leading and building up trading teams at UBS, Commerzbank, Nomura and Mizuho.

After years of development work on the BlockEx DAXP, the platform is now ready to launch. To help issuers leverage the power of Blockchain and access the BlockEx network, BlockEx is building a suite of origination tools  for or “asset creation tool with Bonds being the first product ready product. BlockEx is able to handle the entire lifecycle of a digital assets including origination. James thirty years of credit experience is the perfect fit for BlockEx. Shortly following the launch bond of the bond tool, BlockEx plans on launching other debt origination products.

Adam Leonard, CEO said “It’s exciting to know that BlockEx is able to attract someone as senior as James (a former MD of some the world’s most respected banks)  joining a fintech this gives a clear indication of where the emphasis is changing within the industry!, James’ credit trading experience is the perfect for fit BlockEx as we monetise nearly 3 years of development.

James Godfrey said, “This is a very exciting opportunity and although I am currently on the world’s steepest learning curve it feels good to be at the cutting edge and leading the charge towards more efficient global financial markets!”


About BlockEx

BlockEx is a Digital Asset Platform created to handle the entire lifecycle of a digital asset. Enabling the Creation, Issuance, Servicing and Exchange of financial assets created using Blockchain. Customers include corporates, financial institutions, governments and retail traders.

The core of the BlockEx platform is the BlockEx Pooled Liquidity Exchange, a lightning quick HFT matching engine built to meet the needs of traditional banking institutions, governments retail trading, firms and retail traders. BlockEx tool kits include asset creation tools and brokerage software.

Built to be regulator-friendly with compliant business models, BlockEx self-regulates where regulation does not exist and works with regulators where it does. We are focused on becoming the Trusted Authority in the new banking world, powered by distributed ledger and cryptographic-based securities.