Learnings from ComChain Alliance London Event

By Barry Leybovich, Global Product Manager, IPC

Recently, IPC sponsored an exciting event held by ComChain Alliance. The intimate event was held at Painters Hall in close proximity to many financial institutions’ technology centers near St. Paul’s in London.

With MiFID II coming into effect early next month, many financial institutions are focussed on their communications compliance infrastructure. Managing increased retention periods, write-once-read-many storage requirements, complex litigation hold policies, and more, makes communication compliance an important focus for financial institutions.

Blockchain – which is already revolutionizing the currency industry – may offer a solution to help institutions meet their communications compliance requirements. ComChain hopes to apply the budding technology to communications records compliance by working with technology vendors and financial institutions to normalize data for storage on the blockchain.

Throughout the presentation and panel discussion, there was one topic evidently pressing on the audience: regulation. While blockchain’s immutability is seen as a great advantage, it runs into concerns in the areas of data security, anonymity, privacy, and many other regulatory requirements. A blockchain solution will need to allow institutions to control the exact duration of file storage, yet still remain flexible enough to support litigation holds. Additionally, it remains to be seen if regulatory enforcement authorities, such as the FCA and SEC, will adopt blockchain technology in order to properly interact with and audit financial institutions’ compliance.

Comchain Alliance hopes to speed adoption by forming a consortium of financial institutions and technology partners. Together, the consortium will attempt to establish standards that will allow for normalization of data to create an open platform. It hopes also to engage with regulators to ensure that any solution that is developed and implemented by the members of the consortium will be accepted by regulatory authorities as a viable technological solution.

IPC was excited to sponsor this event alongside many of our customers and technology partners – IPC is committed to technological excellence and innovation, and is eager to see how blockchain can aid financial institutions meet their compliance needs.