With FinDEVr Silicon Valley 2016 only a few weeks away, it was great to hear that one of our FinDEVr alums, Symbiont (FD16), has just completed the initial stage of a proof of concept that uses its blockchain and smart contract technology to improve the syndicated loan market. “Smart contracts can revolutionize the entire lifecycle of a loan, from creation to settlement in secondary market trading,” said Mark Smith, CEO and Symbiont co-founder. “The payoff isn’t just cost savings, but the potential to create entirely new business opportunities for financial institutions.”
The project involves Credit Suisse, the Lab and Research Center at R3, and uses technology from Synaps Loans, the product of a new partnership combining Symbiont’s smart contract technology with Ipreo’s business process solution. Synaps gives loan investors access to an “authoritative system of record for syndicated loan data” which reduces the amount of time spent doing manual reviews, data re-entry, and systems reconciliation. The technology paves the way for even more efficiency gains in loan data processing, including the ability to process loan data entirely on the distributed ledger.
Symbiont CTO and co-founder Adam Krellenstein presented “Distributed Ledgers and Smart Contracts” at FinDEVr New York 2016.
Enthusiasm for the PoC was widespread among the participants:
“This project demonstrates the potential for blockchain technology to fundamentally reshape the syndicated loan market and the capital markets more broadly. —Emmanuel Aidoo, director and blockchain/cryptocurrency strategy lead, Credit Suisse
“This partnership with R2 members, non-members and Synaps has gone a long way in demonstrating that distributed ledger technology can significantly benefit the syndicated loans market.” —Tim Grant, CEO, R3’s lab and research center
“There’s been a lot of hype around how distributed ledgers will drive efficiencies in the syndicated loan space. We’re excited to prove the technology works with players throughout the loan ecosystem to truly understand its value.” —Robert Berk, SVP/COO, U.S. Bank capital markets
In addition to buy-side firms—AllianceBernstein, Eaton Vance Management, KKR, and OakHill Advisors—the following FIs also participated in the initiative:
- Danske Bank
- Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS)
- Society Generale
- State Street
- Wells Fargo
The Proof of Concept project adds to a busy second half of 2016 for Symbiont. The company added Caitlin Long, former Morgan Stanley managing director (pictured), as its new board chair and president in August. Long was a member of Morgan Stanley’s distributed ledger technology working group, and has earned praise from Institutional Investor for her expertise in pensions. She has called Symbiont’s technology “multiple orders of magnitude better than competing systems,” adding that “Symbiont offers the only smart contracts platform purpose-built for financial services.” In addition to her service at Morgan Stanley, Long was a managing director at Credit Suisse and an associate at Saloman Brothers. She is a graduate of the University of Wyoming, the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and Harvard Law School.
Earlier this month, Symbiont demonstrated the insurance use case for its smart contracts platform, executing a live catastrophe swap contract and showing how the platform managed a variety of different processes, such as payments and automatic updates. Symbiont also announced in September that it was working with Delaware to help the state use blockchain technology to improve back-office operations.
Founded in 2015 and headquartered in New York City, Symbiont made its FinDEVr debut at FinDEVr New York 2016 in March. Company CTO and co-founder Adam Krellenstein led a presentation titled “Distributed Ledgers and Smart Contracts” explaining the differences between his company’s technology and traditional distributed databases. Symbiont has raised $7 million in total funding, and includes Atlantic Merchant Capital and Celeridem Capital Management among its investors. In addition to Krellenstein and Smith, the company’s founding team includes Robby Darmody and Evan Wagner, managing director.
If you dig distributed ledgers, cryptocurrencies, and the blockchain, then FinDEVr Silicon Valley 2016 is for you! Check out our FinDEVr page today to discover more about our upcoming developer’s conference, October 18 & 19. Tickets are on sale now, so stop by our registration page and save your spot today.