SWIFT and Accenture have released a paper which offers banks a blockchain "blueprint", and investigates existing Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLTs), highlighting the opportunities as well as the challenges for industry wide adoption.

Based on the assessment, the eight critical factors that need to be addressed for industry wide adoption of DLTs include: strong governance; data controls; compliance with regulatory requirements; standardisation; identity framework; security and cyber defence; reliability; and scalability.

The paper also highlights SWIFT's research and plans to build technical, operational and business capabilities with a view to evolve its platform such that DLT-based services could be offered, when the technology matures and business use cases emerge across multiple verticals.

Fabian Vandenreydt, head of Securities, Innotribe and the SWIFT Institute, SWIFT, said in a statement: "Since the emergence of DLTs, the financial services industry has been looking for answers to questions about the potential use of these new technologies. The technology assessment has given us valuable insights into the necessary requirements for DLTs to succeed in financial services. It provides a clear state-of-play, outlining the different factors the technology needs to address, and the current maturity of DLTs in each of these areas. SWIFT is committed working with its community to identify areas in which the technology can provide the greatest benefits, evolving at a pace that works for each customer."

David Treat, a managing director and global head of Accenture's Capital Markets Blockchain practice added: "The financial services industry is moving from an educational phase, into an application phase when it comes to DLTs. We now have a strong understanding of DLT and its benefits, but we need to identify which areas are best suited, as the technology will not be a silver bullet to solve all business issues. The SWIFT and Accenture paper provides the industry with a blueprint for reaching the next step in identifying how to apply DLTs."

With a goal for wide-spread industry adoption, and as a Board Member of the Linux Foundation's Hyperledger project, SWIFT will continue to collaborate with the wider financial industry to evolve open source blockchain technology and build the foundation of a production grade DLT. Innotribe, SWIFT's innovation arm, will also continue to facilitate collaboration, said the statement.