Itaú Unibanco, the largest private sector bank in Latin America has announced a partnership agreement with private blockchain consortium R3, making it the first Latin American bank to join the banking blockchain collective.
Joining the ranks of over 40 other global banks, Itaú Unibanco, a Sao-Paulo based bank has joined distributed ledger or blockchain consortium R3CEV, the New York-based startup that is developing blockchain solutions for the financial industry.
In a statement, Márcio Schettini, general director for Technology and Operations at Itaú Unibanco spoke about the intent to bring in distributed ledger technology to Latin America.
We have joined the R3 consortium to contribute to the international drive for development and implementation of innovative solutions based on distributed ledger technology.
We are convinced that these innovations will bring benefits to our customers and real gains in efficiency to the sector as a whole.
Itaú Unibanco is Latin America’s largest private sector bank with operations in over 20 countries including those in Asia and Europe beyond the Americas and has approximately 96,000 employees around the world.
Itaú Unibanco is, significantly, also the only bank among the dozens R3 counts as partners that directly offers services to countries in Latin America.
R3 CEO David Rutter claimed Itaú will be an “important partner”, noting its geographical relevance in a statement.
It is a pleasure to welcome Itaú Unibanco to expand our global network of partners in Latin America. Distributed ledger technology has the potential to break down geographic barriers and to unite these counterparties worldwide in a more efficient, secure and transparent financial structure.
Toward the end of 2015, R3 had added 12 more banks to its blockchain consortium, to a total of 42 global banks at the time. In what is a concentrated effort to go beyond traditional banks to include more regional banks globally into its ranks, R3 has since partnered with Japan’s SBI Holdings and South Korean banking holding firm Hana Financial.
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