November 11, 2019
Zurich, Switzerland and New York, USA— ConsenSys Labs announced today an investment in atpar, the Switzerland-based team delivering banking-grade financial applications through the development of the ACTUS Protocol. As one of the leading investors in Ethereum, ConsenSys supports projects with the potential to drive adoption where the ecosystem sees the most potential—financial services and banking.
Financial assets are at the heart of every financial service and representing these assets on Ethereum in a transparent and interoperable manner is a key promise of the open finance movement. Delivering on this promise, the ACTUS Protocol is an open source framework for the issuance of banking-grade financial instruments in a unified way across asset classes. atpar has open-sourced its smart contract system for the ACTUS Protocol on GitHub and a demo portal is available on the Ethereum testnet.
The ACTUS Protocol smart contract framework represents financial assets and their logic on Ethereum as modular, “Lego”-like building blocks with templates that can be parametrized to represent nearly any financial instrument, from mortgages and bonds to derivatives and beyond. Instead of building from scratch, developers can work with ready-to-use financial contracts that contain machine-readable unified term sheets and the obligation schedule of the instrument. Further, the ACTUS Protocol handles servicing aspects like issuance, recording and updating state changes, fractionalizing and pooling of assets, funds distribution and greatly simplifies the reporting and analytics of assets and portfolios. atpar’s comprehensive infrastructure provides financial institutions the ability to run and service the life cycle of financial assets at a fraction of today’s cost.
As developments in decentralized finance (DeFi) have reached an industry high with over $600 million locked up in the Ethereum blockchain alone, ConsenSys is committed to investing in projects that will accelerate the eventual migration of the trillion-dollar financial markets to blockchain networks. In the same way the adoption of the ERC-20 standard unlocked the possibility of network-wide tokenization by making it easy to exchange one ERC-20 token for another and use across wallets and exchanges, the ACTUS Protocol aims to enable the same interoperability for financial assets. In combination with the ERC-2222 funds distribution standard— which was a collaborative effort spearheaded by atpar— financial assets will circumvent the substantial integration and data reconciliation costs of today’s legacy systems.
Joseph Lubin, founder of ConsenSys and co-founder of Ethereum shared, “Together the ACTUS Technical Specification and the ACTUS Financial Protocol have the potential to be the HTML and HTTP of the financial layer of the decentralized World Wide Web, enabling enterprises to overcome the walled garden inefficiencies of our current financial system, which confine companies and markets to proprietary siloed systems. In the future, the ACTUS Protocol aims to define every financial contract on the planet with well-defined inputs, outputs and algorithms to codify the flows of value, each rendered and encased in a blockchain-based, legally binding smart agreement.”
atpar was founded in February 2019 by a diverse team with years of experience innovating in financial services and decentralized networks. The atpar team founded the ACTUS Protocol to lay the rails for the tokenization of cash flows on Ethereum, equipping developers with the tools to reimagine financial services on open, interoperable and frictionless infrastructure. The team is building on the existing ACTUS standards (Algorithmic Contract Types Unified Standards), which was developed by the financial services sector and adopted as an industry standard for representing assets in response to the global financial crisis in 2008.
“Intermodal containers revolutionized the shipping industry, atpar aims to replicate these efficiency benefits for the financial industry. The ACTUS Protocol provides the infrastructure to containerize all major financial assets and describe them with unified, machine-readable ‘freight documents’. It will empower financial institutions to drive production costs almost to zero by automating the servicing and reporting of financial assets along their entire life cycle” said Michael Svoboda, CEO of atpar.
atpar is gaining momentum in its home country of Switzerland where they were recently selected as one of 10 fintech companies to join the 2019 Kickstart Accelerator Program launched by Digital Switzerland. atpar’s participation in the Kickstart cohort led to a Proof-of-Concept with Swisscom, the largest telecommunications provider and banking infrastructure operator in Switzerland. Swisscom is exploring the ACTUS Protocol to create solutions for tokenized debt for the Swiss financial industry. In addition, the Swiss Innovation Agency Innosuisse has welcomed the atpar team to its core coaching program and issued the team a grant for professional development.
The investment from ConsenSys Labs will enable the atpar team to transition development of the ACTUS Protocol from the Ethereum testnet to mainnet.
More about atpar:
atpar builds financial infrastructure on Ethereum that empowers issuers and issuance solution providers to tokenize and manage the full breadth of financial asset classes along their entire life cycle at a fraction of today’s cost.
About ConsenSys Labs:
Consensys Labs invests in the world’s most promising Web3 founders. With investments in over 78 companies in 22 countries, Labs is focused on helping founders build a more decentralized and trustworthy future. Learn more at Labs.ConsenSys.net.