SETL announces the launch of its Global Engineering Centre and expansion of its technology team

London - 15 February 2017

SETL, the financial blockchain specialist, today announced the opening of its Global Engineering Centre in Ipswich, UK. Ten new staff have been recruited to work in the new office and to support SETL’s international expansion, bringing SETL’s total worldwide workforce to 24. The centre was officially opened by Ben Gummer, Member of Parliament for Ipswich and Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General and by Chairman of the SETL board Sir David Walker.

The new team includes blockchain technology architects and specialists for server systems analysis, enterprise storage, web development, integration and project management. SETL operations in Ipswich will be overseen by CTO Nicholas Pennington. SETL joins more than 70 growing technology businesses specialising in areas from financial technology to telecommunications and big data that are based in the Ipswich area and form part of the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership for Norfolk and Suffolk. 

SETL was launched in July 2015 to deploy a multi-asset, multi-currency institutional payment and settlements infrastructure based on blockchain technology. The SETL system will enable market participants to move cash and assets directly between each other, facilitating the immediate and final settlement of market transactions. The SETL system maintains a permissioned, distributed ledger of ownership and transaction records, simplifying the process of matching, settlement, custody, registration and transaction reporting.

Ben Gummer MP commented: “I am delighted to have been invited to open SETL’s new office here in Ipswich. They are the latest of a number of businesses choosing to locate in our tech hub. Suffolk has a thriving ICT sector, with the University of Suffolk ensuring that there is a pipeline of new local talent. Taken together with Norfolk, we have the third highest concentration of science and research parks in the country.”

Peter Randall, CEO of SETL, noted: “Since we launched in 2015, SETL has continued to expand rapidly, with new blockchain products and initiatives. Our new engineering centre will be the powerhouse that supports our growth ambitions as we deploy blockchain projects globally.”

SETL Development Limited launched in July 2015 to deploy a multi-asset, multi-currency institutional payment and settlements infrastructure based on blockchain technology. The SETL system enables market participants to move cash and assets directly between each other, facilitating the immediate and final settlement of market transactions. The SETL system maintains a permissioned distributed ledger of ownership and transaction records, simplifying the process of matching, settlement, custody, registration and transaction reporting.

The initiative is led by Peter Randall, the former CEO and founder of Chi-X, the pan-European equities trading venue. The SETL management team comprises: Peter Randall, CEO; Anthony Culligan, Product CEO; Nicholas Pennington, CTO; and Francois Barthelemy, Head of Corporate Strategy.

In December 2015, SETL announced Sir David Walker as its chair. Sir David is a former Executive Director of the Bank of England and has served as the chairman of Barclays, Morgan Stanley International, the Securities and Investment Board and as deputy chairman of Lloyds TSB. In July 2016, Rachel Lomax, former Deputy Governor of the Bank of England and Ed Richards, former CEO of Ofcom, joined the SETL board. In November 2016, Martin Clements, recently retired from his role as Director General responsible for Technology and Transformation at the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office joined the SETL board.

The SETL technology has been designed from the ground up to meet the needs of the finance industry and eliminate some of the concerns raised about the use of blockchain technology for financial markets. These include anonymity, typical for ‘permissionless’ blockchains such as the bitcoin blockchain, which would present challenges to AML / KYC obligations of financial institutions, and the limited capacity and speed of current blockchains, not designed to handle the required volume of financial transactions. SETL is a real-time, real-world system and as such will offer connectivity and compatibility with existing workflows, systems, standards and regulations.

Visa capacity is tested to 56k transactions per second – which is 4 times the actual peak rate.