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Goldman Gets Into The Crypto Game

Goldman Sachs has clinched an important victory in its race to transition from a stodgy investment bank into a fintech powerhouse: it was awarded a patent for its proposed "SETLcoin" cryptocurrency settlement system, according to CoinDesk, the first to report on the patent.

“The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published Goldman's patent on July 11, entitled "Cryptographic currency for securities settlement". The bank made headlines when the existence of the patent application was revealed in late 2015.”

The concept envisions a system for settling securities trades using cryptocurrency instead of cash or other cash equivalents. When filed in December of 2015, the application notably outlined methods for exchanging SETLcoins for digitized stocks for firms like Google and Microsoft, as well as cryptocurrencies, naming bitcoin and litecoin in particular, as CoinDesk explains.

In its patent application, Goldman highlights the shortcomings of the clearing and settlement system, explaining how counterparties are forced to bear unnecessary risk during the period between when a trade is made and when it is settled, which can be up to three days for stock trades.

“The settlement of securities involves a process whereby securities or interests in securities (e.g., debt, equity, or derivative contracts) are delivered, usually against payment of money. A number of risks arise for the parties during the settlement interval that follows trading and precedes settlement. For example, after a trade for a security and before settlement, the rights of the purchaser are contractual and therefore personal; however, because such rights are merely personal, these rights are at risk in the event of the insolvency of the either counterparty to the trade. After settlement, the purchaser owns the securities, and the purchaser` rights are proprietary. Clearing involves modifying contractual obligations to facilitate settlement. Clearing houses, such as ...
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