A privacy-centric blockchain network designed for financial institutions known as the Canton Network is in development, thanks to a cooperation between technology and finance giants, including Microsoft and Goldman Sachs. Announced on May 9, the project aims to offer an interoperable blockchain network by facilitating the synchronization of previously isolated financial markets, targeting those who work with institutional assets.
The Canton Network is set to begin testing in July, with features such as comprehensive privacy controls and the ability to scale and perform to the standards expected by major financial institutions. Some of the network’s key participants include BNP Paribas, Cboe Global Markets, Digital Asset, Paxos, Deloitte, and others. According to Cathy Clay, Executive Vice President at Cboe Global Markets, in partnership with the project, leveraging blockchain technology has the potential to bring new opportunities to the market. She states that the “tokenization of real-world assets may offer an unprecedented opportunity to create new market infrastructure and drive efficiency in the trading of products across the globe.”
The foundation for Canton is Daml, a smart-contract language developed by Digital Asset that enables the synchronization of “assets, data, and cash,” creating an interoperable system across linked applications. As interest in investments and industries continues to grow amid a warming crypto winter, institutional investors’ involvement appears to be on the rise.
In March, Cathie Wood’s ARK Investment purchased approximately $18 million in Coinbase shares, equaling roughly 269,928 shares. A recent study by Goldman Sachs disclosed that 32% of family offices currently hold investments in digital assets. On May 3, the security token platform INX launched a new MPC wallet explicitly designed for institutional investors to manage assets and regulate employee access.
Looking at the wider landscape and the advantages of an interoperable blockchain network like Canton, one can’t help but acknowledge the potential it could unlock. Streamlining financial markets and enhancing data privacy will undoubtedly open up numerous possibilities for global trading. On the other hand, skeptics may argue that such a concentrated collaboration between powerful players could risk centralization and deviate from the core principles of decentralized blockchain technology. While the Canton Network seems promising, the onus will be on the project to ensure a right balance between efficiency and decentralization.