The London Stock Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) has led a $20 million investment round in fintech startup Nivaura, Reuters reported on Feb. 27. The British blockchain startup is the developer of the world’s reportedly first crypto-denominated, blockchain-settled bond.
According to Reuters, LSEG paid an undisclosed amount for a minority equity stake in Nivaura. The startup provides blockchain solutions that automate the issuance, clearing and settlement of financial instruments, including bond issuance and tokenized securities.
Alongside LSEG, Banco Santander’s venture capital arm, Santander InnoVentures, was reportedly among the investors in Nivaura.
LSEG’s head of international development, Nikhil Rathi, told Reuters that the Nivaura investment aligns with the exchange operator’s aim to harness new technology that can diversify products, provide efficiency gains and boost growth.
Tokenizing debt and equity, Nivaura contends, can cut processing time for financial instruments by up to 80 percent, and dramatically reduce the costs of raising capital. The startup has outlined that its platform is a modular solution, “which facilitates the automation of the entire lifecycle of a financial instrument.” The platform also allows issuers to “easily access the financial markets and can connect into existing technology platforms such as the clearing systems or into blockchain infrastructures.”
For its issuance of an Ethereum (ETH)-denominated, blockchain-settled bond in late 2017, Nivaura operated under the aegis of the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority’s regulatory sandbox — thus tackling the full gamut and complexity of the legal and regulatory issues involved in tokenizing capital markets.
As reported, LSEG’s technology solutions provider, LSEG Technology, has recently announced that its low latency, scalable matching engine — in use at traditional exchanges such as LSE, Borsa Italiana, the Oslo Stock Exchange and others — will be used to power a forthcoming Hong Kong-based digital assets exchange.
Recognition of blockchain’s efficacy for streamlining financial instruments continues to widen. Earlier this month, Spain’s second largest bank, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA), launched the reportedly first blockchain-backed platform for structured green (sustainable) bonds. In December, BBVA had closed a $169 million loan using blockchain with a non-Spanish borrower.
Across the globe, the Australian Securities Exchange is working to implement blockchain technology to replace its current system for processing equity transactions.