Wells Fargo – a leading American financial services organization – and HSBC Bank – a major British monetary institution – will employ a blockchain-based product to settle matched foreign exchange (Forex) transactions.
Through the partnership, the two entities will use a shared ledger to process operations with US dollars, Canadian dollars, British pounds, and Euros. There are also plans to extend to additional currencies in the near future.
Blockchain in Forex Transactions
According to a recent press release, applying blockchain technology will provide the two banking giants with transparency of settlement status for matched Forex transactions in the aforementioned currencies. The solution will allow both entities to utilize Payment-vs-Payment (PvP) operations and is expected to reduce the risks and costs of processing foreign exchange settlements.
Mark Jones – Co-Head of Macro at Wells Fargo – revealed this is the first time when blockchain technology has been employed in such a manner:
“We are pleased to announce that we will be utilizing blockchain technology for the first time in the settlement process of cross-border payments. We are extremely excited to be collaborating with HSBC on a project which places both organizations at the forefront of blockchain innovation. We believe this will be the first step of many utilizing transformative technology across our industry in the years ahead.”
Apart from reducing the risks, the shared ledger should also enhance settlement speed and efficiency by using blockchain technology. Wells Fargo and HSBC will be able to accumulate bilateral payment obligations. The opportunity builds on HSBC’s FX Everywhere platform, which has transacted over three million intrabank trades worth over $2.5tn since its launch in 2018.
The British institution raised hopes to expand the system by adding more participants and introducing a central Financial Market Infrastructure (FMI) provider to manage the platform’s standards.
Mark Williamson – Global Head of FX Partnerships & Propositions at HSBS – said:
“As financial services continue to digitize the store of payment and value on blockchain, we are delighted to work with Wells Fargo in the adoption of this important cross-border digital backbone for the confirmation and settlement of Foreign Exchange trades.”
Wells Fargo and its Crypto Endeavors
Earlier this year, the Wall Street behemoth filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to register a designated Bitcoin fund. To launch the initiative, it partnered with FS Investments and New York Digital Investment Group (NYDIG).
Later on, in October, Elliptic – a London-based blockchain analytics firm – secured $60 million in Series C funding led by Wells Fargo and the Japanese investment manager – SoftBank. The company announced it would use the funds to accelerate cryptocurrency adoption by global financial markets.