Symbiont Smart Contracts to Simplify Index Data Sharing for Vanguard

Smart contracts platform Symbiont announced this week it has teamed up with the Center for Research in Security Prices (CRSP) to help Vanguard improve the distribution of index data.

This partnership will allow index data to move between index providers and market participants in real time over a single, decentralized database. The project, which has been in a testing phase for the last several months, delivers the data over a blockchain and automates the workflows using smart contracts. The result is three-fold: it expedites data delivery, eliminates the need for manual updates, and reduces risks. The groups expect that CRSP index data delivery and intra-day updates over the blockchain will be available in early 2018.

Generally, transmitting index data relies on multiple parties and channels. Explaining the benefits of the improved distribution method, 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.”

Mark Smith, CEO and co-founder of Symbiont, said he is “pleased” that CRSP and Vanguard were willing to collaborate on the new method. “Through this collaboration we were able to show how Symbiont’s blockchain technology and smart contracts can enhance market data distribution among disparate parties,” Smith said.

Symbiont was founded in 2015 and offers three products, each of which leverages the blockchain. Symbiont Assembly offers a single, global accounting ledger, Symbiont Secure Channels is a mechanism for sharing confidential data, and Symbiont Smart Securities is a platform that models the complex states and interactions for financial instruments. At FinDEVr New York 2016, the company’s CTO and cofounder Adam Krellenstein gave a presentation titled Distributed Ledgers and Smart Contracts.

Last month, Symbiont won the Buy-Side Technology Award for Best Distributed Ledger Technology Project by Waters Technology for the second consecutive year. Earlier this summer, the company closed an undisclosed strategic investment from China’s Hundsun Technologies. Headquartered in New York, Symbiont has a total of $7 million in funding.

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This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Symbiont Wins Distributed Ledger Technology Award for Second Year in a Row

When it comes to award-winning, buy-side, distributed ledger technologies, the smart contract solutions from Symbiont are apparently pretty hard to beat.

For the second consecutive year, the New York-based company has won the Buy-Side Technology Award for Best Distributed Ledger Technology Project by Waters Technology. In accepting the award, Symbiont CEO and co-founder Mark Smith emphasized the technology’s applicability to the buy-side, calling it a “founding principle” to help “upgrade settlement processes in capital markets via blockchain and smart contracts.” Smith highlighted the decentralized nature of Symbiont’s platform, with each network node being equal, as another advantage. “Because there are no gatekeepers in Symbiont networks,” Smith said, “the balance of power is fair to everyone and we appreciate the buy-side recognizing the value of this.”

Adam Krellenstein, Symbiont CTO and co-founder, during his presentation, “Distributed Ledgers and Smart Contracts” at FinDEVr New York 2016.

Symbiont Chairman and President Caitlin Long was even more specific, adding that the “long-only buy-side” is likely to be the biggest beneficiary of blockchain technology. This is because many of the costs increasingly borne by the buy-side – latency, capital requirements, counterparty risk – can be reduced with blockchain-based solutions, Long explained.

Founded in 2015, Symbiont has supported a number of major blockchain projects including its joint venture with Ipreo – a 19-party pilot for syndicated loans – and its work with the Delaware Blockchain Initiative. Last month, the company joined the Wall Street Blockchain Alliance as a corporate member, and this summer, Symbiont announced a strategic investment from Medici Ventures. A partnership with Privatemarket.io to build an alternative investment marketplace for closed-end funds announced in June and an investment from China’s Hundsun Technologies in May further characterize a busy year for Symbiont.

Company CTO and co-founder Adam Krellenstein presented “Distributed Ledgers and Smart Contracts” at FinDEVr New York 2016 where he explained the differences between Symbiont’s Smart Securities system and traditional distributed databases.

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This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

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Symbiont Announces Strategic Investment from Medici Ventures

Two months ago, Symbiont announced an undisclosed strategic investment from China’s Hundsun Technologies. At the time, Symbiont CEO Mark Smith called the investment “a clear vote of confidence” from a “strong partner in Asia.”

Last week we learned that the votes of confidence are still coming in. Blockchain technology investor Medici Ventures has teamed up with Symbiont, providing strategic investment to the company and announcing a collaboration involving both Medici and its parent company Overstock.com. The partnership will enable Medici Ventures to become the first company to register corporate ownership shares using the blockchain.

Pledging to deliver “best-in-class investor transparency,” Jonathan Johnson, President of Medici Ventures and Overstock.com Director, said, “We also anticipate using blockchain to administer Medici Ventures’ fund interests from inception, thereby providing our investors with end-to-end recordkeeping on a blockchain and administration of investor interests using smart contracts.”

Pictured: Adam Krellenstein, Symbiont CTO and co-founder, discussing “Distributed Ledgers and Smart Contracts,” during his presentation at FinDEVr New York 2016.

Symbiont’s Smith highlighted investor interests as a major use case for his company’s technology. “Management of fund interests is a logical extension of Symbiont’s Smart Securities capabilities,” he said, “and we welcome a partner that is equally committed to the principle of ensuring accuracy of shareholder records at all times during a company’s life cycle.”

The issue was explained in more detail by Overstock CEO and founder Patrick Byrne. He called the process of signing over personal ownership of shares received in the IPO process “a Faustian bargain” for entrepreneurs. He praised Delaware for pioneering registration of ownership shares using blockchain technology. “Delaware is giving entrepreneurs a path to retaining direct ownership of their shares after their IPOs, Byrne said. “Thanks to Delaware, accuracy in securities ownership records can be achieved.”

Symbiont’s blockchain-based technology enables easy-to-understand modeling of complex financial instruments and fully digitizing those instruments into a distributed ledger. The company’s Smart Security technology avoids error-prone manual processes and tampering while increasing transparency, reducing risks, and enabling participants to share ledger statuses and updates. The technology also helps companies save on back and middle office costs.

Founded in 2015, Symbiont is based in New York City. The company is an alum of our developer’s conference, having presented “Distributed Ledgers and Smart Contracts” at FinDEVr New York 2016.

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This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

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Our first developers conference in the U.K. is just over a month away. If APIs and SDKs are just a few of your favorite fintech acronyms, then join us for two days of developer-focused presentations, demonstrations, and conversations at FinDEVr 2017 London, June 12 and 13. Stop by our registration page today and save your spot.

FinDEVr 2017 London is a part of London Tech Week, which runs from June 12 to June 16.

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