London-based funds transaction network Calastone has announced plans to migrate to a private and permissioned-blockchain infrastructure in 2019.

Calastone’s network connects over 1,300 financial services entities in 34 markets. Through the transition to blockchain infrastructure, Calastone plans to enhance operational efficiency, lower cost and risks, and meet customer demands more quickly.

The firm completed the first phase of blockchain technology proof-of-concept (PoC) in June 2017, where it trialled the feasibility of the technology for trading and settlement of mutual funds. The PoC revealed that the transaction volumes and fund flows processed was many times greater than expected.

Calastone CEO Julien Hammerson said: “In making this first step using blockchain, we are providing our customers with the requisite tools they need, to be future-ready. We are delivering a solution that will not disrupt the current connectivity and interaction our customers have with our network, rather putting them in pole position to make the step change to the blockchain when timely and additive to their specific objectives and requirements.”

Calastone deputy CEO Ken Tregidgo added: “The funds industry is subject to increasing cost pressures, whilst investors continue to demand increasing returns and regulatory transparency. The initial shift we’re making towards blockchain marks the first major step to addressing these issues offering significant potential for the entire industry.”