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Spain’s First Banking Blockchain Consortium Eyes Ethereum & Hyperledger Tech

Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:57 PM
Samburaj Das
Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:57 PM

A third of Spain’s banking sector are now unified under the country’s first banking blockchain consortium.

Madrid-based wholesale bank Cecabank has, in partnership with services firm Grant Thornton, created and established the blockchain consortium to develop solutions for the banking industry.

In its announcement, wholesale lender Cecabank adds that the consortium will work to ‘progressively develop the potential of blockchain technology in the financial sector’. While the list of members has not been revealed, Cecabank adds that the consortium “comprises 33% of the Spanish banking sector” at launch. The aim, the announcement adds, is to create blockchain-based applications with a real impact on the banking industry.

Cecabank points to KYC-based blockchain recognition system as one of the first solutions to be developed by the consortium. This, Cecabank claims, will be to increase the efficiency of protocols involving the prevention of money laundering processes at member institutions.

The announcement makes a marked statement about using blockchain technologies like the public Ethereum blockchain and the open-source Linux Foundation-led Hyperledger project.

Jaime Manzano, head of Reporting, Operational Management and Banking Training Services at Cecabank further revealed:

Employees of all our functional areas are not only going to gain an in-depth understanding of the technology, but also of all the new features that arise, which is indispensable, considering the momentum for constant progress maintained by blockchain.

The consortium will also commission new proof of concept blockchain solutions for ‘usual banking processes’, hinting at commercial rollouts of the innovative decentralized technology.

“We are going to work to ensure that this consortium ‘manufactures’ the first usable blockchain banking applications,” stated Luis pastor, a partner at Grant Thornton, adding that the consortium will also look to become “ a benchmark hub in Spain for the development of this technology.”

Some of Spain’s biggest banks have been involved or have already trialed blockchain-based solutions. In April, BBVA executed a money transfer to Mexico “in a matter of seconds”, according to the bank. The real-world test used Ripple’s blockchain technology for the near, real-time transfer. Banco Santander has also leveraged Ripple’s technology for international payments and notably sees prominent industry executive Blythe Masters, the CEO of New York-based Digital Asset, as its blockchain advisor. A few months later, Santander left the global banking blockchain consortium led by R3.

Madrid financial district image from Shutterstock.