CBW Bank, a Kansas based community bank partnered with Ripple in 2014 to become one of the first banks to use the Ripple protocol to enable instantaneous transactions “between customers and the network of Ripple gateways using the protocol.” This integration enables CBW bank customers to receive payments in real-time.
Westpac and Commonwealth Bank of Australia, two of the largest banks in Australia, have also partnered with Ripple Labs to incorporate the blockchain technology into their systems. While Westpac has integrated the Ripple protocol to track down transactions and settlements, Commonwealth Bank of Australia is trying to implement the Ripple protocol to settle international payments quickly.
Barclays, a British multinational banking and financial services company has launched a startup accelerator called Barclays Accelerator dedicated for fintech and blockchain related startups. By incubating Safello, Atlas Card, and Blocktraces, the bank will explore use-cases of the blockchain technology that could change and transform traditional banking systems.
Arguably the most passionate supporter of the blockchain technology in the banking sector has been Goldman Sachs, as the bank led a US$50 million funding round for Circle Inc., earlier this may. The bank has also been keen on searching for applications of the blockchain technology that could transform trading, which could be used in the stock market.
Santander Bank, the world’s 10th biggest bank has found over 25 possible use-cases of the blockchain that could be implemented to traditional banking systems. Santander has also co-authored report in which they discovered that the integration of the blockchain technology could eliminate up to US$20 billion of banking costs.
The bank of New York Mellon has been trying to integrate bitcoin’s p2p model into their own client-server systems. The bank has also launched their own BK Coins, which is used internally by their staff and employees.
Estonia’s LHV bank has been experimenting with blockchain technology using colored coins, bitcoin-based certificates of deposit. After exploring different blockchains, the bank has concluded their research, stating “The Bitcoin blockchain is the oldest, most tested and secure [public-key cryptography], and hence suitable for our current applications.”
As global banks are increasingly experimenting with the blockchain to search for possible use-cases that they can implement in its existing banking systems, CoinTelegraph has compiled a list of some of the most notable banking giants experimenting with Bitcoin’s underlying technology.
Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, S.A., (BBVA) a multinational Spanish banking group with over 21 billion Euros in annual income participated in one of the largest investments in the bitcoin industry - Coinbase’s US$75 million series C funding round. One of the main reasons for the investment was for the bank to become familiar with the blockchain technology.
DBS bank, a Singaporean bank with around US$9 billion annual income hosted a blockchain hackathon sponsored by IBM back in May. The hackathon offered US$33,000 in cash prizes and was sponsored by Startupbootcamp, Infocomm Investments, Coin Republic, and Ideator. Through the hackathon, the bank wanted to find use-cases of the blockchain technology that could help the unbanked and could optimize current banking systems.
While many other banks are looking into different blockchains or even thinking of building their own, LHV bank is “utilizing existing reliable components” of the Bitcoin blockchain.
Some of the world’s most prominent banks including Citibank are even trying to create their own blockchain to facilitate transactions and settlements quickly. The following list will explore which big banks are closely studying and developing interesting use-cases for the blockchain.
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