Just in time for the implementation of stringent new regulatory requirements, some of the largest banks in the world have revealed a pilot designed to simplify compliance using ethereum. Described internally as the Massive Autonomous Distributed Reconciliation platform, or Madrec for short, the project led by Swiss banking giant UBS, with help from Barclays, Credit Suisse, KBC, SIX and Thomson Reuters, is designed to make it easier for banks to reconcile a wide range of data about their counterparties. Traditionally, regulated firms use what are called "legal entity identifiers" that are stored in a global data system to execute transactions on behalf of clients, even if those clients themselves don't have one of the codes. But as part of a sweeping regulatory change called the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID) II, scheduled to go live in the EU on Jan. 3, 2018, all eligible legal entities will be required to have and use these codes. Instead of mandating that each of these institutions perform these checks independently, though, the banks built Madrec to mutualize much of the effort in a potentially industry-wide reconciliation process hosted in the Microsoft Azure cloud. In an exclusive interview with CoinDesk, the head of UBS' blockchain research and development efforts, Peter Stephens, explained how the blockchain infrastructure was designed to help users save money, without sacrificing their competitive edge.