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Banks around the world unite to explore the use of Blockchain

By Benzinga

Financial tech firm R3 has created an initiative under which some of the world's largest banks will explore the use of blockchain in the financial sector. The effort represents the first time major banks have joined forces to research how blockchain may influence the sector and improve operations.

This week, several big name banks including HSBC Holdings plc (ADR) HSBC, Deutsche Bank AG DB, Citigroup Inc C and Bank of America Corp BAC all signed on to the consortium, which is headed up by David Rutter, the former CEO of ICAP Electronic Trading.

Blockchain For Markets

The banks are planning to research how blockchain can revolutionize financial markets and whether or not implementing the ledger-like technology would be beneficial. Many believe that financial institutions would benefit from blockchain as the system would make their operations more efficient and increase transparency. Blockchain ledgers are able to keep track of every transaction, and integrating that system within financial institutions around the world would make it easier for banks to monitor cross-border payments and interact with each other.
Smart Contracts
Blockchain could also be used to facilitate contract transactions as the system would have the ability to recognize whether or not conditions have been met. Deutsche Bank has been working on this initiative in order to issue corporate bonds through a blockchain-powered smart contract system.
Security Concerns
Of course, as blockchain is a relatively new technology, there are concerns regarding the safety and security of such a system. Several hacking attacks have given bitcoin, the cryptocurrency that runs on blockchain, a bad name and could lead to resistance from the public. However, R3 is hoping that through collaboration within the financial sector, the risks associated with blockchain-powered systems will be addressed and the technology can be used to move the industry forward.

This story first appeared in Benzinga.
Photo: 401(K) 2012

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