Made-in-Alberta: Financial solutions for blockchain businesses.

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What is a better role for ATB than to be the provider of banking solutions to Alberta businesses implementing innovative solutions? In our drive to lead the technology revolution of the banking sector, we’ve been sharing our passion for areas like blockchain, cryptocurrency, and artificial intelligence. This focus allows us to leverage a willingness to provide business banking solutions that go beyond traditional offerings.

When a business banking client comes to ATB and says ‘Sooooo, we’re doing something a little different…,” here at ATB, our ears perk up and we say ‘how can we help?’

It’s in our interest to make Alberta businesses across all sectors of the economy as competitive as possible and to make Alberta a place known for our openness to innovation: a great place to start and grow technology businesses. That is what we are setting out to do by working with businesses to create banking solutions that fit how business is done now and how it will be done in the future.

With the oil and gas sector facing tighter margins, and the renewables sector exploding, the energy sector in particular is starving for innovative solutions and increased efficiency. We shared with you a while back our excitement about a blockchain proof of concept we have been working on for settling transactions for contracts in the oil and gas sector.

We’re also supporting the great work of companies like GuildOne; their innovative solution is streamlining fulfillment of smart contracts for oil royalty payments. If you’re not familiar with royalty settlements in this space, think of an analogy of the music industry. When a song plays on the radio, there are a number of parties that may receive royalties at different rates: the artist, the song writer, a producer, etc...

The contract and rates have been agreed to in advance, but when it actually comes down to payment, there may be different electronic copies of the contract flying around. Each party may perform the calculation themselves and then when payment comes through, if there are any discrepancies, it can result in huge delays and the need for many man hours of calculations, reissuance of payment, and a lot of time wasted.

Smart contracts living on the blockchain can eliminate much of the waste and discrepancy by cementing the contract terms into a distributed ledger.

In the case of oil royalty payments, contract negotiations are done separately and then cemented on the blockchain. Since ATB can read only the payment details of the smart contract directly from the blockchain, when a transaction is confirmed an Electronic Funds Transfer comes through and ATB initiates the fund transfer between parties. The smart contract in place truly is “smart”, we only see what we need to, which is the payment details. All other terms are kept confidential amongst the negotiating parties.

It seems like a simple process, because it is. ATB’s important role is our willingness to think outside of traditional banking. What we’ve brought to the table is the option to initiate money movement based off payment instructions from a blockchain, rather than someone listed with signing authority on an account. Without this ability, fund transfer would have to be initiated manually by the payer, eliminating much of the benefit of the smart contract and the trust and reliability created by the blockchain.

There is no magic to it, but this is exactly what we’ve been training for. We don’t simply provide financial solutions based on traditional banking principles, we help businesses find solutions that fit the specific problems they are trying to solve and we bring our experiences with exponential technologies to the table.

We are working on other proofs of concept that provide creative business banking solutions, for example real-time money movement off a blockchain. Our willingness to provide innovative business banking solutions is not limited to blockchain, as we continue to explore areas on the leading edge of technology, we’re positioned to help Alberta businesses with the banking solutions of tomorrow.

Doing something a little different? We’re here to help.