Former Exchange CEO Says New Blockchain Startup Ready to Debut

  • SETL’s platform could have live projects in 12 months
  • Blockchain company expects to detail Moelis fundraising soon

Amid all the talk and hype surrounding blockchain, former stock-exchange executive Peter Randall says he’s among the few unveiling a digital ledger that’s ready to take on commercial clients.

Randall, former chief executive officer of the Chi-X Europe stock market who now runs a firm called SETL, is on Wednesday debuting a venue for his firm’s blockchain system called OpenCSD. The venue could be used by a bank, for example, to record a private stock deal as well as for registration and other securities transactions.

While the technology underlying bitcoin has been a darling of the financial technology scene, the growing number of companies that have jumped into the frenzy are largely yet to prove themselves commercially.

“Every conference you go to these days has a ‘How will blockchain change the world?’” panel, Randall said in an interview. “The time is now to get going and do something. We’ve done the talking, now let’s do the action.” 

Randall says SETL’s platform is available as soon as a customer signs up for it, but they must first take a few steps: convert the asset to a form that will work on the blockchain and prepare their own systems to use the digital ledger’s inputs. Projects could be live within 12 months, he said.

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Blockchain startups are proliferating, but it may be years before the technology leads to widespread change in the industry. While blockchain promises to simplify and cut costs for back-office processing, the challenge lies in overhauling massive, entrenched engines of the financial system.

Moelis & Co. is raising money for the venture and former Barclays Plc Chairman David Walker is set to become chairman. Randall said he hopes to provide an update on the fundraising soon.

“To make investments make sense, you’ve got to have projects and cash flows,” he said. “So this is a particularly exciting project and cash flow and very much part of the plan.”

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