Global fintech and funding innovation ecosystem

Vanguard Developing Blockchain Platform for $6 Trillion Forex Market

Coindesk | David Pan | Oct 9, 2019

Vanguard ForeX blockchain platform - Vanguard Developing Blockchain Platform for $6 Trillion Forex MarketMutual fund giant Vanguard has partnered with Nasdaq Ventures-backed blockchain startup Symbiont to develop a trading platform for the $6 trillion currency market, the companies said.

With the new platform, Vanguard, which manages $5.2 trillion, aims to lower transaction costs for the trillions of dollars worth of currencies it trades annually by boosting peer-to-peer trading for investors, connecting them directly via blockchain technology.

Symbiont CEO Mark Smith told CoinDesk the company teamed up with Vanguard to build the currency platform, confirming a Bloomberg report that cited an anonymous source.

The platform has been operational for two months and completed its first trades during the time, according to the report.

A Vanguard spokesperson told CoinDesk:

“Vanguard is currently piloting a project focused on improving the efficiency and reducing risk of FX hedging.”

The new platform is part of the fund manager’s commitment to lowering the cost of investing for all investors, the spokesperson said. Neither company would provide further details of the pilot.


The project, if successful, would be another important milestone for Wall Street courtesy of Vanguard, which created the first index fund in 1975.

New York-based Symbiont actually worked with Vanguard on project related to its index funds before the currency trading platform, helping the fund manager in 2017 streamline its index fund data collection process with its patented smart contract technology.

The blockchain firm is focused on its smart contracts platform for institutional applications of its blockchain platform Symbiont Assembly to help build networks where multiple independent entities can share data and logic in real time.

The startup touted that it has been one of the most successful among its peers in the enterprise blockchain space when compared to Hyperledger, R3, Digital Asset and ethereum variants.

“I would argue that we are the only enterprise blockchain solution,” Smith previously told CoinDesk. The others either aren’t really blockchains, have privacy and security shortcomings or haven’t produced anything beyond ideas, he argued.

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