Switzerland’s first Block-Chain Technology Workshop

Switzerland’s first Block-Chain Technology Workshop

On 20 and 21 August 2015, SIX Securities Services in Olten played host to the first Block Chain Technology Workshop in Switzerland.

What on earth is block chain?

Currently, block chain is the technology by which all bitcoin transactions are recorded and saved. The block chain process which, in theory, removes the need for financial market participants to intervene and is, as a consequence, highly efficient and cost-effective.

In reality, the process is not just suitable for the virtual currency alone, but can also be used for all possible transactions. Financial institutions and clearing houses could use it to revolutionize their processes and systems; which is why the financial world has been looking at block chain for a number of months now. 

SIX Securities Services as the host, initiator and trigger for innovation.

In the context of its Innovation Incubation drive, SIX Securities Services – which runs Switzerland’s entire post-trade market infrastructure – organized the first Block Chain Technology Workshop in Switzerland on 20 and 21 August 2015. Participants included employees from all SIX divisions as well as external attendees from Fincite GmbH which provides digital platforms, algorithms and data to create and develop new services. The Business Engineering Institute St. Gallen was also present.

The aim of the workshop was to share information, ideas as well as technical and methodical knowledge on block chain technology and then discuss the best applications for it. 

The Book of Jobs.

Marc Studer, Head Innovation Management, SIX Securities Services, opened the workshop with an introduction to the topic of block chain. Quoting Steve Jobs, as he used to introduce revolutionary new products by saying “There is one more thing I wanna show you”, he explained how important new technologies are and that everyone should regularly think about new ideas. 

He was followed by Ralf Heim, Co-CEO of Fincite GmbH who has many years’ experience in the area of block chain technology. Heim provided an interesting explanation of how SIX could harness these technologies in a targeted way. Afterwards, participants took part in group exercises.

Discussions, meetings, work...results!
The second day of the workshop saw participants look at three dedicated areas in which block chain technology can be applied: trusted networks, post-trade and stock exchanges. 

First, the groups discussed the various aspects of the three areas of application. Participants then developed a business model using the canvas method. The aim was to incorporate the technical case studies into a business setting.

The three business models were then presented, discussed in the group as a whole and then evaluated according to their feasibility, potential and degree of innovation.

The idea that came out on top will now be incorporated into the SIX innovation process. This will see the first prototype of the application being built at SIX’ F10 technology incubator. We’re looking forward to great initial results.