Crédit Agricole bets on blockchain with SETL investment

Crédit Agricole takes minority equity stake in financial blockchain specialist SETL.

Crédit Agricole CIB has acquired an equity stake in blockchain specialist SETL in the bank’s first investment in a FinTech company.

Launched in 2015 by a team of financial veterans including former Chi-X CEO Peter Randall, SETL provides a multi-asset, multi-currency institutional payment and settlements service using blockchain technology.

The OpenCSD platform allows market participants to move cash and assets between each other, allowing for immediate and final settlement of transactions.

“SETL has developed a private blockchain that already integrates the specific matters of the banking industry,” said François Marion, deputy CEO of Crédit Agricole CIB.

“This minority stake…paves the way for an industrial partnership that will contribute to the work already undertaken by Crédit Agricole CIB on the blockchain technology over the last 2 years and will enable Crédit Agricole CIB to speed up the digitalisation of its processes and exchanges with its customers.”

The decision to take an equity stake is the latest stage in the relationship between the two firms which have been collaborating on blockchain technology.

Randall, chief executive at SETL, claimed the firm has successfully deployed various environments capable of processing more than 80,000 transactions per second across over 100 million accounts concurrently in a globally distributed configuration.

“As a result of this technological capacity SETL have already received significant further indications of interest in our OpenCSD product,” he said.

“SETL continues to develop market infrastructures, like IZNES which now has over 20 major European fund managers and will be the largest global blockchain by both value and volume."