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Understanding a Delivery vs Payment (DvP) Application on Blockchain

May 15, 2024
Understanding a Delivery vs Payment (DvP) Application on Blockchain
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Digital Assets will transform thousands of use cases for enterprises and consumers in the ever-evolving digital economy. They have brought about a new era in financial transactions.

This transformation, delineated through three distinct waves of digital asset evolution, sets the stage for the critical role of Delivery versus Payment (DvP) today.

With the advent of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) and the proliferation of enterprise-grade asset platforms, digital assets are now a staple in complex business transactions, underpinning a multitude of applications and setting the scene for a seamless, interconnected financial future.

It is within this matured landscape that DvP emerges as vital, ensuring the simultaneous exchange of assets and payments, mitigating risks, and cementing trust in the myriad transactions that define our digital age.

As digital assets evolve to underpin a vast array of business and consumer applications, the precision and reliability of DvP protocols have become indispensable to the seamless function of the digital economy.

Here we’ll dive deeper into the way DvP works on blockchain and show how you can get started in building your own DvP application.

Common Archetypes of Transactions

In the world of financial transactions, the synchronization of exchanges is crucial to reduce risk and ensure all parties fulfill their obligations. Each type of payment offers a tailored approach to settling transactions, catering to specific needs and scenarios within the financial landscape.

Payment vs. Payment (PvP)

A transaction where transfer of funds in one currency is dependent on the simultaneous transfer of funds in another currency

Delivery vs. Payment (DvP)

A transaction between a buyer and seller whereby the transfer of assets only happens after payments have been made.

Delivery vs. Delivery (DvD)

A transaction where delivery of one asset is contingent upon the simultaneous delivery of another asset by the counterparty.

Existing Challenges with Business Transactions

In today’s fast-paced financial environment, the traditional mechanisms of business transactions are under increased scrutiny due to inherent inefficiencies and risks.

From the operational complexities that arise from relying on intermediaries to the lethargy of settlement processes, these challenges can stifle the fluidity of trade and commerce.


Traditional systems face increased operational complexities with the need for intermediaries as assets and value are in different, often disjointed systems.

Inefficient Settlement

Clearing and settlement takes up to T+2 days and systems typically operate only during business hours.

Counterparty Risks

Slow movement of funds and assets due to outdated systems increases risk that a party may not fulfill their obligations.

Benefits of Tokenized Assets

As the digital transformation reshapes the financial landscape, tokenized assets have emerged as a beacon of progress. By encapsulating assets on distributed ledger technology (DLT), tokenization ushers in an unprecedented level of efficiency and programmability.

This promises a paradigm shift where immutability and transparency are the bedrock of every transaction, allowing all parties to verify the integrity of the exchanges independently.

The advent of near real-time settlement not only enhances liquidity but also significantly diminishes counterparty risk, paving the way for optimized capital utilization among participants.


Tokenizing assets allows assets and value to be on DLT, bringing a new fundamental era of efficiency and programmability.

Immutability & Transparency

A transparent and immutable record of transactions allows parties to independently verify integrity of pertinent transactions.

Operational Ease

Near real-time settlement enhances liquidity, reduces counterparty risk, and optimizes capital utilization for participants.

Tokenized assets represent a pivotal advancement in the way we conduct financial transactions, offering a direct pathway to implementing Delivery versus Payment (DvP) mechanisms.

With assets digitally represented on a ledger, DvP can be executed with greater speed and less friction, securing the simultaneous exchange of assets and payment.

This alignment not only mitigates risks but also enhances the efficacy of the settlement process.

Benefits of DvP for Securities Transactions

DvP is often considered the best practice in securities transactions for several reasons:

Risk Mitigation

DvP minimizes the counterparty risk that one party will default after the other has performed. It ensures that the transfer of securities only occurs if the payment is made, thereby reducing the chance of a loss to either the buyer or the seller.

Settlement Synchronicity

By linking the security transfer and the payment, DvP creates a simultaneous exchange process. This synchronicity is critical in fast-moving financial markets where prices can change rapidly.

Market Confidence

DvP increases confidence among market participants, as it provides a transparent and reliable settlement mechanism. This confidence is crucial for the smooth functioning of the financial markets.

Regulatory Compliance

Many regulatory bodies prefer or mandate the use of DvP to enhance the stability and integrity of the financial system.

Operational Efficiency

By automating the exchange process, DvP can streamline operations and reduce the administrative burden of manual reconciliation and follow-up on failed trades.

Visualizing a DvP Workflow

DvP is often favored because it provides a secure, efficient, and regulated means of conducting transactions that both sellers and buyers can trust.

This is an illustration of the various dimensions of a Delivery versus Payment (DvP) workflow in financial transactions.

On the graphic you’ll see asset types. This refers to what is being exchanged in the DvP process. The types of assets being transferred might be commodities, bonds, currency, derivatives, or equities, to name a few.

Also you’ll see networks. This dimension categorizes where the exchange is taking place, i.e., the platform used for the transaction. Networks can include on-chain Networks, where the assets are digital and the transactions are recorded on a blockchain or distributed ledger, and off-chain Networks, traditional systems where exchanges are not recorded on a blockchain.

The graphic also highlights interoperability. These are the technologies used to connect systems that are involved in the exchange and how they interact.

Lastly, you’ll see that any DvP system needs to address settlement. This is how the transaction will be finalized or settled. It includes methods like intermediaries, escrow, HTLC (Hashed TimeLock Contracts), notaries, or direct settlements.

The graphic serves as a guide to the complexity of financial asset transfer, and the details, the many ways a DvP transaction can be structured, can be fit to the specific system’s needs.

Common DvP Structures

Single Chain

When all commitments are backed by a DLT and confined to a single chain, an atomic swap can be performed by a smart contract. All commitments are registered with the contract and will execute together or not at all.

Locking of committed assets is optional, depending on the nature of the swap and the desired guarantees around completion.


A more realistic real-world use case involves assets that live on different chains. When multiple chains are involved, hash locks are often used to coordinate.

Here, one party picks a secret and hashes it then all parties may create settlement terms using the same hash. The originating party must disclose the secret to claim their portion of the settlement, which allows other parties to claim theirs as well.

On a single chain, transactions can be instant. On multi-chain, you can’t be instant. Time locks can be used here in combination to allow unfulfilled settlements to expire.

On- and Off-Chain (Trusted)

In off-chain domains with some level of trust, required actions (such as physical delivery) may be coordinated via existing legal frameworks. In these scenarios, sending or receiving parties may provide evidence or sign-off of delivery in order to trigger the release of digital settlement assets.

In these cases, additional consideration must be given to cancellation or expiration of contracts and dispute resolution.

On- and Off-Chain (Supervised)

For more sensitive or regulated off-chain domains, third parties may be involved. Examples include intermediaries that hold escrowed assets, or notaries that provide a guarantee that the settlement is valid and will execute. These trusted parties may also have the power to cancel or reverse settlements that do not execute.

DvP Presents Challenges with Coordinating Across Domains

An individual DvP transaction may require settling multiple commitments across multiple domains. Each domain may be a DLT or an off-chain system (such as a legacy/existing process, a physical delivery of goods, etc). Each domain may have differing rules for atomicity and trust, and execution in one domain can only occur while the others are “locked” from being canceled or reversed.

A successful DvP strategy should ensure that all commitments are fulfilled or rejected together, regardless of the nature of the items involved.

Developers need to define “points of no return” at various steps of the flow so they can lock certain stages before moving forward, which becomes a challenging puzzle to solve as we build successful DvP flows.

How Kaleido Streamlines DvP with Hyperledger Technologies

Kaleido is an ideal platform for building DvP applications, providing robust and reliable blockchain infrastructure along with versatile tools and APIs for rapid system development. Our platform also supports interoperability between diverse blockchain networks and traditional systems, essential for DvP applications requiring seamless integration across multiple platforms. Additionally, we have streamlined the process of asset tokenization, a crucial aspect of DvP systems, making our platform highly suitable for enterprise-level use cases.

Watch the demonstration below to understand how we ensure compliance, scalability, and security in advanced DvP applications. Our Senior Full Stack Engineer, Andrew Richardson, explains the workings of the Kaleido platform starting at the 37:00 mark during this webinar hosted by the Hyperledger Foundation.

For more information about the Kaleido platform and how it makes it easier to build delivery-vs-payment workflows, set up a call with one of our solution architects.

Radically Simple Digital Asset Tokenization and Transfers

The Kaleido Asset Platform can radically accelerate your digital asset strategy and make it easier to build DvP workflows.

Request a Demo

Radically Simple Digital Asset Tokenization and Transfers

The Kaleido Asset Platform can radically accelerate your digital asset strategy and make it easier to build DvP workflows.

Request a Demo
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Interested in Blockchain?

Start learning blockchain and creating enterprise solutions today with a free Kaleido account!

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Radically Simple Digital Asset Tokenization and Transfers

The Kaleido Asset Platform can radically accelerate your digital asset strategy and make it easier to build DvP workflows.

Request a Demo

Radically Simple Digital Asset Tokenization and Transfers

The Kaleido Asset Platform can radically accelerate your digital asset strategy and make it easier to build DvP workflows.

Request a Demo

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