Bank of Canada’s Project Jasper Advances Blockchain-Based Securities Settlement

There are so many blockchain projects out there, one is almost at a loss when trying to keep tabs on everything. That in itself is no real surprise, as information about most of these initiatives is incredibly difficult to come by. Bank of Canada, one of the more transparent entities in this regard, has announced it will commence the third phase of Project Jasper very soon.

Project Jasper Matters to Bank of Canada and TMX

It has to be said, Project Jasper is one of the more intriguing finance-oriented blockchain ventures in the world right now. It is a collaborative effort between the Bank of Canada, the operator of the Toronto Stock Exchange, and Payments Canada. All three entities want to start settling securities on the blockchain sooner rather than later. A project of such magnitude requires scores of research and testing, to say the very least.

Two test stages have already been completed, according to a recent Reuters report on the matter. This shows a lot of work has been done behind the scenes to not only build a blockchain-based solution, but also develop protocols and software needed to settle securities. One of the big downsides to distributed ledger technology is how it doesn’t work all that well with existing legacy systems. This fact often forces developers and engineers to write completely new code from scratch.

In the case of Project Jasper, things are progressing smoothly by the looks of things. All three organizations are working on an experimental integrated securities and payment settlement platform. With the third phase of this project almost upon us, it is nearly time to see if multiple assets can be settled on a single ledger. In theory, this shouldn’t be much of a problem, yet the reality is that it has been very difficult in most cases. Even in the cryptocurrency world, it is impossible to settle different currencies on the same ledger without the use of some experimental technology.

There are many advantages to a blockchain-based settlement system. First of all, it reduces the cost of securities transactions in general, which is a major selling point. Secondly, it improves financial resiliency, especially during stressful periods. Faster settlement times and a reduction of risk to a bare minimum are two big reasons to at least explore the use of blockchain technology for this specific purpose.

That being said, everyone can see Project Jasper will still need a lot of work moving forward. After all, the foundation has been laid, but most of the difficulties will arise when this solution is put through its paces. For now, it is unclear when the third phase of Project Jasper will occur exactly, or how long it will last. It is of the utmost importance that this venture succeeds; that much no one can deny.

Whether or not Project Jasper will turn out to be a major success remains to be determined. It is evident things are going quite well, but the most difficult test has yet to occur. If the project can’t settle multiple assets on the same ledger, it remains doubtful these three entities would continue with the research. Then again, they have come very far already, and there is no point in letting it all go to waste either. We should know more about Project Jasper’s third phase in the coming weeks and months.