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Swift Aims to Revolutionize Cross-Blockchain Transactions


Belgium’s renowned SWIFT communication network, recognized globally for its expertise in international transfers, is setting its sights on becoming the standard for cross-blockchain transactions. This ambitious move reflects a notable shift in the mindset of established financial institutions.

In an exciting announcement, SWIFT reveals its collaboration with partners to develop a solution enabling the transfer of tokenized assets across blockchains and borders.

Tokenized assets encompass various valuable items represented as tokens on a blockchain. These assets can range from “security tokens,” such as stocks or government bonds, to precious metals like gold, popular cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, fiat currencies like the dollar, and even real estate or artwork.

As institutional investors display increasing interest in tokenized assets, they often face technical challenges arising from the presence of disparate, non-interoperable blockchains. To overcome this infrastructure fragmentation, SWIFT is diligently working on a comprehensive solution.

SWIFT is not only collaborating with prominent international players in traditional finance, including BNP Paribas, BNY Mellon, Citi, Clearstrem, Euroclear, and SIX Digital Exchange, but also with the Web3 service, Chainlink. Chainlink will facilitate the connection to public and private blockchains, allowing traditional financial service providers to extend SWIFT infrastructure to tokenized assets.

The initial testing phase involves transferring tokenized assets between two wallets on Ethereum’s Sepolia testnet, a public blockchain. Subsequently, the assets will be transferred from Ethereum to a closed blockchain and then to another public blockchain.

According to Jonathan Ehrenfeld, a representative from SWIFT, more and more institutions are exploring ways to cater to their customers using both private and public blockchains. This change in perspective reflects a significant shift among established financial institutions. Instead of attempting to reinvent the blockchain as they had in the past, the focus now lies on upgrading existing infrastructure to connect with blockchain networks that record tokens.

SWIFT’s role as a driving force in this transformation is both obvious and surprising. As a Belgium-based telecommunications network, SWIFT has traditionally competed with blockchain networks. It remains the gold standard for international bank transfers and is now branching out into securities transfers as well. Facilitating connections among over 11,000 banks, brokers, and exchanges across 200 countries, SWIFT processes more than 40 million messages daily, with an annual value exceeding 35 trillion euros.

Given this influential position, SWIFT possesses invaluable insights into the finance industry’s pulse. The company strongly believes that blockchain technology holds immense potential for enhancing efficiency, reducing costs, and unlocking new business models.

Consequently, SWIFT has been actively engaged with blockchain technology for several years. Tom Zschach, Chief Innovation Officer, highlights the realization that a single blockchain network will not be the ultimate solution. Instead, he anticipates a diverse range of platforms, each catering to specific customer segments with unique capabilities and requirements. In this highly fragmented ecosystem, there arises a need for a central hub to interconnect the various blockchains.

SWIFT now positions itself as that hub, seamlessly extending the company’s expertise in international transactions to the blockchain world.


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