UK blockchain group Setl set to emerge from administration

Setl, the UK blockchain technology group backed by a host of financial services heavyweights, is set to re-emerge after its management bought the group’s main assets from administrators.

The group will focus on developing modern electronic ledgers for financial markets, and settles, records and verifies payments in central bank money rather than cryptocurrencies. While some blockchains use ledgers available to all users, Setl uses a so-called “permissioned ledger”, which allows a small network of trusted parties to see the details of trades and payments.

It entered administration in early March after it was unable to maintain the regulatory capital that was needed to sustain two businesses it had been developing — ID2S, a central securities depository, and Iznes, a record-keeping platform for European funds. Quantuma were appointed administrators.

The newly formed Setl Ltd has bought the operating assets, the staff and intellectual property rights of Setl Development, the previous company that is being wound down. It has also sold its stakes in ID2S and Iznes, but did not identify the buyers.

Sir David Walker, author of the Walker Report, a review of corporate governance in UK banks, has been named as chairman while Christian Noyer, the former governor of the Bank of France, will be the lead independent director. Both served on the board of the previous company.

Talking about the old Setl, Sir David admitted: “We thought the case would be seen as compelling but users weren’t ready to put their hands in their pockets to contribute to regulatory capital.”

“Now we will provide the tools to the infrastructure companies,” he added.

The new company has reached agreement with all its major clients to continue their support and it expects to push ahead now with a number of core initiatives, Sir David said. The sale of the stakes would be part of the funding for the new company, he added.

Many of Setl existing management will be shareholders and…

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