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凯雷拥有的基金网络Calastone制定了代币化资产的大型计划

2021-2-16 13:22

 

基金网络calstone的愿景是将整个资产管理行业通证化,不仅是基金,还有基础资产。在未来,取代标准化的共同基金,每个投资者可能都有一个定制的token化资产组合,基于他们的风险回报偏好。


calstone基金网络连接了2500名资产经理、基金分销商及其服务提供商,每月处理2000亿英镑(合2760亿美元)。尽管规模庞大,但在全球市值超过50万亿美元的基金行业中,它仍然只是很小的一部分。自2019年5月以来,calstone的核心订单路由一直使用区块链技术,但这只是开始。


首席技术官亚当•贝尔丁(Adam Belding)在接受Ledger Insights采访时谈到了未来的潜力,即“更直接地将资产管理公司与零售客户重新连接起来,创造出超越共同基金的东西。”


他继续说道:“所以它就像是一个有数百万种不同变化的比例模型投资组合,直接投资于基金想要投资的任何基础资产。”


这涉及到代币化现金、股票、债券、衍生品和其他资产,这也是calstone成为代币化标准机构Interwork Alliance成员的原因。


我们注意到投资组合模型与eToro的社会投资理念有一些相似之处,消费者可以选择复制另一个投资者的投资组合,通常是一个业余投资者。


通证化的好处之一是能够细分标的股票、债券或其他衍生品,就像共同基金细分投资组合一样。它也带来了透明度。


“他们(投资者)可以非常清楚地看到他们投资的是什么,他们的表现如何。ESG的角度被很好地覆盖了因为你可以直接看到你没有被投资到一个石油公司或烟草公司。因此,我们认为这是我们试图通过让行业采取这些步骤来达到的终点。”


但这不会在一夜之间发生。让我们来看看卡拉斯通现在的情况以及未来的发展方向。

calstone如何使用区块链


calstone解决方案的核心是顺序路由。如果投资者通过银行购买了一些基金,命令会通过calstone传到基金经理或他们的转账代理人那里。自2019年5月以来,这种功能已经大规模地利用了区块链,calstone将其称为分布式市场基础设施(DMI)。


最近,calstone推出了DMI基金服务,它的第一阶段针对的是转账代理人,而不仅仅是资金管理。人们可能会期待一个像calstone这样的自动化平台来消除转会中介,但贝尔丁说,这是“使转会中介成为可能,而不是想要消灭他们”。


通过DMI Fund Services, calstone平台不仅存储了这笔交易的黄金记录,还存储了这家资产管理公司的全部基金记录。除了使分红等公司行为的执行更加简单外,“单一真相来源”还应消除和解。


任何基金网络的一个关键点是,与资产管理公司或服务提供商的新整合是由网络运营商完成的,而不是每一个转账代理或分销商都需要实现它们。

通往大区块链愿景的道路


在区块链解决方案的集成和互操作性问题上,Belding并不那么乐观。


“这是全球区块链的惊人愿景,一切都在运行,有真正的DVP(交付与支付),所有的现金和资产都在那里。那几乎就是一片蓝天。”


他认为,区块链互联网是一个遥远的未来,因为有许多不同的系统正在开发中,它们可能在很长一段时间内都无法实现本地互操作。“你最终只会看到现在已经存在的相同的生态系统,你必须以一种略微新的方式来编排和整合,因为它们都是区块链。但这仍然是一个巨大的挑战,”贝尔丁说。


那么这与卡拉斯通的宏伟愿景有什么关系呢?对基金业来说,一个略显自私的答案是使用calstone的一站式商店解决方案。这是基金业的一个共享市场基础设施,但不是由基金业所有,而是由凯雷旗下的calstone所有。


在现实中,这样的愿景可能会为整个行业节省大量资金,即使它会导致垄断利润。更有可能的情况是,鉴于其他投资者也在关注类似的想法,其中包括FundsDLT和Allfunds,将有少数投资者参与进来。然而,卡拉斯通已经领先一步。

区块链技术及其挑战


enterprise区块链最大的问题之一是采用摩擦。Belding强调,这对calstone来说不是问题,因为它提供了很多集成的方式,从api和SWIFT消息到电子表格文件。

 

一个主要的挑战是,区块链不是数据库,企业需要关系数据库以通常的方式查询数据。因此,来自Calastone私有授权版本的以太坊交易与数据库同步。


当被问及有多少第三方托管了区块链节点时,由于缺乏回应,我们认为calstone的区块链网络目前相当集中化。


然而,Belding提到它的区块链技术的一些变化是由与计划托管节点的合作伙伴的讨论推动的。


迄今为止,calstone使用的是一个私人授权版本的以太坊,使用的是权威证明,但它已经接近完成对另一个以太坊版本Hyperledger Besu的更新,Belding称其为“专门为企业金融服务环境而构建的”。


Belding说,虽然目前的版本使用各方访问数据的权限,但Besu的吸引力在于它“生来就能支持适当的隐私。”


我们还注意到Besu是由它的创建者和ConsenSys的支持者设计的,作为企业公开区块链的途径。


Belding承认了这一点,并指出:“如果可以在那里(公共以太坊)建立新的分销渠道或其他功能,我们将很好地利用这一点。”

 

Funds network Calastone has a vision of tokenizing the entire asset management sector, not just the funds but the underlying assets. In the future, in place of standardized mutual funds, every investor might have a bespoke portfolio of tokenized assets based on their risk-reward preferences. 

The Calastone funds network connects 2,500 asset managers, fund distributors and their services providers and processes £200 billion ($276 billion) every month. Despite its scale, it’s still a tiny part of the fund sector globally valued at more than $50 trillion. Calastone’s core order routing has used blockchain technology since May 2019, but that’s just the start.

CTO Adam Belding spoke to Ledger Insights about the future potential to “reconnect asset managers with retail customers more directly and create something that goes even beyond a mutual fund.”

He continued, “So it’s almost like a scaled model portfolio with millions of different variations that directly invests in any of the underlying assets that a fund wants to invest in.”

That involves tokenizing cash, equities, bonds, derivatives and other assets, and is the reason why Calastone is a member of tokenization standards body the Interwork Alliance.

We noted the model portfolio has some similarity with eToro’s social investing idea where consumers can choose to clone another investor’s portfolio, usually an amateur. 

One of the benefits of tokenization is the ability to fractionalize the underlying stocks, bonds or other derivatives, much like mutual funds fractionalize portfolios. It also brings transparency.

“They (investors) can very clearly see exactly what they’re invested in, how they’re performing. The ESG angle is covered really nicely because you can see directly that you haven’t been put into an oil company or a tobacco company. So we see that as the endpoint that we’re trying to get to by enabling the industry to take these steps,” said Belding.

But that’s not going to happen overnight. Let’s look at where Calastone is today and then the potential path to that future.

How Calastone uses blockchain

At the heart of the Calastone solution is order routing. If an investor buys some funds through a bank, the order goes via Calastone to the fund manager or their transfer agent. This functionality has leveraged blockchain since May 2019 at scale, and Calastone refers to it as a Distributed Market Infrastructure (DMI).

More recently, Calastone has introduced DMI Fund Services that goes significantly beyond order routing towards fund administration, with the first stage targeting transfer agents. One might expect an automation platform like Calastone to disintermediate transfer agents, but Belding said it’s “enabling transfer agents rather than looking to eliminate them”.

With DMI Fund Services, the Calastone platform doesn’t just store the transaction’s golden record but also the asset manager’s entire fund register. Apart from making it simpler to execute corporate actions such as dividends, the ‘single source of truth’ should eliminate reconciliations. 

A key point with any funds network is new integrations with asset managers or service providers are done by the network operator, rather than every transfer agent or distributor needing to implement them.

The path to the big blockchain vision

On the topic of integration and interoperability of blockchain solutions, Belding is not so optimistic.  

“This amazing vision of this global blockchain, where everything runs and there’s real DVP (delivery versus payment) and all the cash is there and all the assets are there. That’s pretty much blue sky,” he said. 

He believes the internet of blockchains is a distant future because there are numerous different systems being developed, which likely won’t be natively interoperable for a long time. “You just really end up with the same ecosystem that already exists now that you have to orchestrate and bring together potentially in a slightly new way because they’re all blockchains. But it’s still a massive challenge,” said Belding.

So how does this tally with Calastone’s big vision? The slightly self-serving answer is for the funds industry to use Calastone’s one-stop shop solution. It’s a shared market infrastructure for the funds industry, but instead of being owned by the sector, the network is owned by Carlyle’s Calastone.

In reality, such a vision might save the entire sector a ton of money, even if it results in monopoly profits. More likely, there will be a small handful of players given there are others eyeing a similar idea, including FundsDLT and Allfunds. However, Calastone has a head start.

Blockchain technology and its challenges

One of the biggest issues with enterprise blockchain is adoption friction. Belding highlighted that this is a non-issue for Calastone because it provides so many ways to integrate, ranging from APIs and SWIFT messages to spreadsheet files. 

A major challenge has been the fact that blockchains are not databases and businesses need relational databases to query data in the usual way. So the transactions from Calastone’s private permissioned version of Ethereum are synchronized with a database.

When asked how many third parties host blockchain nodes, the lack of response leads us to conclude that Calastone’s blockchain network is currently pretty centralized.

However, Belding mentioned some changes in its blockchain technology are being driven by discussions with partners who plan to host nodes.

To date, Calastone used a private permissioned version of Ethereum using Proof of Authority, but it’s close to completing an update to a different Ethereum version, Hyperledger Besu, which Belding described as being “purpose built for an enterprise financial services environment.”

While the current version uses permissions for various parties to access data, the attraction of Besu was that it is “natively capable of supporting proper privacy out of the box,” said Belding.

We also noted that Besu has been designed by its creators and ConsenSys backers as a path for enterprises to public blockchain.

Belding acknowledged this and noted that “if new distribution channels or other capabilities can be built there (public Ethereum), we’re very well positioned to take advantage of that.”

 

来自: Ledger Insights