Cecabank, along with professional services firm Grant Thornton, has formed a blockchain banking consortium in Spain.
The project intends to progressively develop the potential of blockchain technology in the financial sector. This consortium, which presently comprises 33% of the Spanish banking sector, is in a groundbreaking position, since its members will be the first financial institutions to share the responsibility for creating applications based on blockchain technology with a real impact on the banking business.
One of the first tools to be created by this consortium is intended to increase efficiency in the prevention of money laundering processes of the member institutions.
The solution also enables the digital identification of customers in a secure manner, thanks to a KYC (Know Your Customer) recognition system based on blockchain technology. Similarly, the consortium will commission other proof of concepts that will enable the streamlining of the usual banking processes, and even generate new business models.
Together with these applications, which will be developed using blockchain technologies such as Ethereum and Hyperledger, another objective of the consortium will be to take advantage of the existing knowledge on the blockchain technology in the banking sector.
To do so, Cecabank and Grant Thornton have created a collaborative environment for the development of blockchain, dedicated to continuous research into the most important advances in this technology. In this cooperative working hub the member institutions of the consortium will be able to test their latest discoveries, as well as those still in the proof of concept phase and, together with professionals from Grant Thornton, assess their future viability in each of their businesses.
According to Jaime Manzano, Head of Reporting, Operational Management and Banking Training Services at Cecabank, “the new consortium will provide us with a privileged position on the market, since we will be the first in effect to work with this technology, in a cross-sectoral and multidisciplinary environment. 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". Similarly, Cecabank stresses that it is an "initiative that forms part of out strategic plan, in which the commitment to new technologies comprising an optimisation of costs, reduced risk and an improved customer experience is a key pillar to our roadmap".
A consortium driven by professionals from various areas
Cecabank's appointment of Grant Thornton for the commissioning of the consortium is down to its collaborative model, which combines the presence of developers and lawyers with groundbreaking experience in this technology, together with experts from the financial, cybersecurity, innovation and consultancy fields that provide a cross-sectoral approach. According to the initiators, this approach facilitates both the creation of the consortium, as well as coordination between all the stakeholder institutions, succeeding in implementing the entire potential of a technology as disruptive as blockchain in the shortest possible time.
According to Luis Pastor, Grant Thornton Technology and Innovation Partner, “we are going to work to ensure that this consortium 'manufactures' the first usable blockchain banking applications, but also to turn it into a benchmark hub in Spain for the development of this technology, an epicentre which third-party institutions from various sectors can join to maximise their benefit. Our intention is to help Cecabank to implement the technologies necessary for its companies to be the first to make good use of the advantages that blockchain is expected to produce”.