05.23.2017
By Rob Daly

DTCC Advances on Blockchain

The first phase of the blockchain-based version of the Depository Trust & Clearing Corp.’s Trade Information Warehouse should go live in early 2018, Robert Palatnik, managing director/chief technology architect at DTCC, said at Consensus 2017.

The industry-owned utility launched the Trade Information Warehouse for credit default swaps approximately a decade ago in its mainframe environment.

When the DTCC decided to update the platform’s architecture, it determined that employing a blockchain architecture in a cloud environment could reduce the platform’s operational expenses as much as 25%.

Robert Palatnik, DTCC

“We could save that just by replacing the mainframe technology,” Palatnik said.

However, if the industry participants who use the warehouse also adopted the cloud environment, could also reduce their respective operational expenses by the same amount across the industry, Palatnik noted. “The math of creating multiple nodes in the is no longer a heavy lift.”

However, users will not need to change their existing processes if they chose not to, he added.

The DTCC has partnered with IBM, Axoni, and the R3 consortium as well as 10 to 12 banks to move the project forward.

Although the project has multiple phases, Palatnick estimates that 80% of the migration effort is over, but “the content of that 80% keeps on changing,” he said. “It’s like we are in the early days of Atari Pong, but a decentralized version of Atari Pong.”

He doesn’t view the remaining work as difficult as it could be since the DTCC plans to use its existing governing and legal frameworks as well as workflows on the new platform.

And when the DTCC look to introduce additional capabilities to the platform, such as smart contract, those capabilities don’t have to be carved in stone, according to Palatnik.

“We can start with light-weight versions of smart contract,” he said. ” And as we can get more comfortable, we can introduce changes on a contract by contract basis without having to rewrite the database from scratch.”

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