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Italian Banking Association is ready to launch the second phase of blockchain trial

The Italian Banking Association (ABI) has announced the successful completion of the first phase of a blockchain trial, which involved technical procedural verification. The 14-member group is ready to move into the second phase to adopt distributed ledger technology (DLT).

BNL BNP Paribas Group, Banca Mediolanum, Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, Crédit Agricole, Banca Sella, and Banca Popolare di Sondrio are among the members of the association, which has been working since June to upload real data to the blockchain infrastructure that relies on 14 nodes, with one node for each bank. The group uploaded 1.2 million movements to Spunta Project, as the interbank blockchain initiative is called. With the initial phase declared a success, the association is poised to launch the next one, which will see the banks collaborate on a regular basis with the new DLT-based applications.

ABI has authorized research and innovation center Abi Lab to run the project. The goal is to help banks ensure data transparency, speed up transaction time, and streamline check and exchange processes. The association wants to support interbank reconciliation, which checks whether the transactions involving correspondent accounts of two banks are matching. Blockchain will support these processes through solutions including smart contracts.

ABI works with the Corda platform from New York-based blockchain venture R3. The association is also collaborating with NTT Data for the app development, while Sia, the company behind Siacoin, is providing the node infrastructure.

The project relies on the enterprise version of the Corda blockchain, which was launched in June this year. Several modifications have been made to address the specific needs of the Spunta project. The new process will open bilateral channels for data exchange while taking into account the confidentiality of the information.