Vanguard and Symbiont partner to automate CRSP index data with blockchain - The Industry Spread

Ricardo Esteves

Ricardo Esteves has seen business and economics through many lenses. He joined the Financial Services Industry in 2009, and has been a financial journalist since 2011. He holds a degree in Business Administration and has experience producing real-time news, from both buy-side and sell-side, as well as for retail traders, brokers and service providers. Esteves' work has appeared in a variety of online publications including FX Street and FinanceFeeds.

Vanguard and Symbiont partner to automate CRSP index data with blockchain

December 14, 2017

Vanguard, one of the world’s largest investment companies with over $3 trillion in global assets, announced a close collaboration with the Center for Research in Security Prices (CRSP®) and blockchain technology provider Symbiont in order to simplify the index data sharing process through innovative blockchain technology.

Symbiont, a leading smart contracts platform for institutional applications of blockchain technology, has joined The Wall Street Blockchain Alliance (WSBA) as a corporate member last October.

The three organizations are working together to enable index data to move instantly between index providers and market participants over one decentralized database. Over the last several months, CRSP has distributed daily index data to Vanguard in a testing environment through Symbiont’s blockchain platform. The success of this initial pilot will enable automation of CRSP index data delivery and intra-day updates over the private blockchain network in early 2018. Vanguard, Symbiont, and CRSP will also use the results of this initiative to influence future blockchain efforts.

Index data transmission is essential to many operations within the financial services industry, including portfolio construction and strategy execution. It, however, relies on multiple parties and distribution channels to reach investment professionals. Delivering data via a blockchain and automating workflows with smart contracts serves to expedite data delivery, eliminate the need for manual updates, and reduce risks.

David Barclay, Chief Operating Officer of CRSP

Warren Pennington, a principal in Vanguard’s Investment Management Group, said: “Using this platform, investment managers will be able to instantly distribute, receive, and process index data, resulting in better benchmark tracking and significant cost savings that potentially results in better returns for our clients”.

David Barclay, Chief Operating Officer of CRSP, said: “Secure, timely, and reliable controlled distribution of highly sensitive and time-critical information is essential to the continued evolution of the investment and financial services environment. CRSP is dedicated to facilitating the healthy evolution of this marketplace through our data and projects like this.”

Mark Smith, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Symbiont

Mark Smith, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Symbiont. “Through this collaboration we were able to show how Symbiont’s blockchain technology and smart contracts can enhance market data distribution among disparate parties. We’re pleased both Vanguard and CRSP were open to exploring new ways to use our platform to make capital markets cheaper, faster, and more accurate for investors.”

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