In late August, we spoke about the entrance of various central banks in to the world of blockchain. Fast forward to the present, and we continue to see this trend within Canada. Below are a few examples of the exploits of big banks in blockchain within Canada.
National Bank of Canada
Announced on October 21, 2018, CGI Group Inc. and National Bank of Canada will be launching a blockchain pilot program. This program is being tested with the hope of bringing increased efficiency to multiple actions. This primarily includes standby letters of credit and guarantees.
By developing a blockchain-based platform, this partnership will see a commonly used action, that is completed via email, leap forward with respect to speed, security, and efficiency.
This partnership and development was made possible through a 3rd party – Skuchain. CGI utilized a ‘Contract Builder’, offered by Skuchain, to integrate their own trade finance platform. Once this integration took place, National Bank of Canada was able to use the end result.
Speaking on the pilot was National Bank of Canada’s Patrice Roy – VP of Payments, Cash Management and international Solutions. Patrice stated, “This pilot project is a great opportunity to leverage blockchain technology to simplify the process for negotiating standby letters of credit and guarantees while making it more transparent and secure. This will enable us to offer a simple, fast and efficient experience to our commercial clients which facilitates managing their business.”
TD & Hydrogen
TD Bank recently announced their partnership with Hydrogen. Specializing in blockchain and AI, Hydrogen has created a platform that provides record keeping, verification, and various other services.
In an effort to provide a more well-rounded experience for their clients, TD will be incorporating Hydrogen’s technology into their WebBroker program. In doing so, users of the program will gain the ability to tailor their own investment portfolios, while creating a tailored financial plan. This will be feasible while maintaining the inherent benefits that blockchain offers – such as security, efficiency, and transparency.
Speaking on the partnership was TD’s VP of Wealth and Digital Innovation, Tony Lerullo. He stated, “While our initial focus is on improving the self-directed investor experience, our ultimate goal is to bring best-in-class digital investing solutions to all TD clients, at every stage of their financial journey.”
BMO & Ontario Teacher’s Pension Plan
With an eventual goal of primary and secondary securities trading, BMO and Ontario Teachers have teamed. The pilot program arranged between the two assess the viability of blockchain to provide advancement in fixed-income markets. This pilot saw BMO issue a $250 million note to Ontario Teachers.
BMO’s Head of Global Trading, Kelsey Gunderson spoke on the pilot. She stated, “This is an important first step in developing a fully functional blockchain capability that we think will eventually allow primary and secondary trading of securities…We understand the potential that blockchain brings to the capital markets and we look forward to continuing to drive innovative solutions to help our clients.”
It is clear that that big banks in Canada have seen the benefits that blockchain can afford. While the National Bank of Canada is the most recent announcement, it would not be surprising if their partnership is soon old news, as other banks come forward with similar aspirations.
As a blockchain enthusiast, do you feel as though big bank/blockchain integration is a positive development within the industry?