Thomson Reuters makes its market data blockchain-friendly

The logo of Thomson Reuters is pictured at the entrance of its Paris headquarters, France, March 7, 2016. REUTERS/Charles Platiau/File Photo

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Thomson Reuters Corp plans to release a tool on Wednesday that will allow customers to plug its market data into systems that run on the digital ledger technology known as blockchain.

The new tool, called BlockOne IQ, will allow Wall Street firms to use Thomson Reuters data on trading systems that run on Ethereum and Corda, two types of blockchain, the company said.

Thomson Reuters, which sells data, news and other information, owns Reuters News. Like competitors including Bloomberg LP and IHS Markit Ltd that provide market data and software to Wall Street, it has been ramping up investments in new technologies like blockchain as customers have started to embrace them.

The idea behind BlockOne IQ is to speed up deployment of blockchain in financial markets, Sam Chadwick, Thomson Reuters’ director of strategy in innovation and blockchain, said in an interview. The technology maintains a record of transactions through a network of computers rather than one centralized authority, and was first conceived as a way to trade the digital currency bitcoin.

Big banks, investors and other financial institutions have invested millions of dollars in blockchain, hoping that it could make transactions faster, easier and more secure. But it has not yet been used on a wide scale, partly because of a disconnect with technologies that underpin other applications, said Chadwick.

“A lot of the financial use-cases rely quite heavily on knowing and including real-world data, but there is really no way to do it,” he said.

Tools like BlockOne IQ are known as “oracles” in financial-technology circles, because they allow the two different technologies to communicate with one another.

Reporting by Anna Irrera; editing by Lauren Lacapra