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Euroclear has become the latest financial services firm to adopt a bullish position on the blockchain, announcing plans for a full launch of their gold trading blockchain in 2017.

The firm, which operates clearing and settlement services in European financial markets, has already completed several testing phases, including live settlement of gold transactions, in partnership with a group of 16 different banks and financial services businesses.

Co-operation with the likes of Scotiabank, Societe Generale and Citi Bank allowed Euroclear to process some 100,000 gold bullion trades on its blockchain, as part of the latest testing phase which lasted for some 48 hours.

The latest phase of testing follows on from an earlier test run that saw the firm clear over 600 transactions, following the announcement of the technology back in June.

With testing progressing well, and the firm now in the advanced stages of their development, Euroclear has indicated that it should be feasible to roll out the technology for real later this year.

Angus Scott of Euroclear said that the testing process had been highly encouraging for the technology, which could go on to revolutionize the process of trading in gold and other markets.

"We are encouraged by the extensive engagement of market participants in this second pilot and will continue as we further develop this new market infrastructure for the bullion market. The feedback provided is of great importance to make sure that our service will deliver real added value to the London bullion market through transparency, capital reduction and delivery versus payment settlement."

The Euroclear project is just one example of the sheer number of applications for the blockchain, both in financial markets and in a range of other industries and sectors.

Recording transactional information in a secure, decentralized ledger, the blockchain effectively allows markets to operate automatically, safely, and independently of banks and governments.

While the technology remains in its infancy, a wide range of applications are already in advanced stages of testing, starting in financial services and branching out as far as land registration, international aid and global logistics.

The Euroclear infrastructure is expected to roll out in the coming months, and could significantly reduce operational costs for clearing and settlement in gold trading.

Should the system proven successful, it would have a number of other uses across asset markets.