Ulster Bank is leading an effort in Ireland to underpin the payment systems between major national banks with an Ethereum-based blockchain. This modified Ethereum platform was developed in-house by Ulster’s parent company, the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS). The Proof-of-Concept consortium has dubbed the experiment “Project GreenPay” and it will include partners Allied Irish Banks and Permanent TSB while drawing upon the expertise found at Deloitte’s new blockchain R&D lab in the popular “Silicon Docks” area of Dublin.
The Ethereum blockchain adapted by RBS is called Emerald. Emerald has undergone significant testing by the digital dockhands at Dogpatch Labs, also in Dublin, where dummy payments evaluated the performance of the interbank system, acknowledging payments in less than 10 seconds while executing large transaction volumes. As described in the 2016 whitepaper, Emerald has been designed as a clearing and settlement mechanism (CSM).
Trials “evidenced a throughput of 100 payments per second, with 6 simulated banks, and a single trip mean time of 3 seconds and a maximum time of 8 seconds.” An initial analysis places “the benefit of distributed ledger solutions in cross-border clearing and settlement at $50-60 billion on a cost base of $150 billion.” Moving forward, the consortium will act to run a pilot program that uses live payments, similar to the interbank transfers happening in Japan recently, while exploring further use cases for blockchain technology in FinTech.
As reported in Nasdaq, RBS’s head of innovation engineering, Richard Crook, stated it “made sense” for RBS’s Irish proxy, Ulster Bank, to implement the Emerald payment scheme.
“We’re delighted to support that and further prove that blockchain can be used to better serve customers.”