HSBC settles US$250 bln forex trades on blockchain in last year

January 15, 2019 09:42
HSBC says it has settled over three million forex trades using blockchain in the last year. Photo: Bloomberg

HSBC said on Monday that it has settled US$250 billion worth of forex trades using blockchain in the last year, Reuters reports.

The London-headquartered bank settled over three million forex trades and made over 150,000 payments since February using blockchain, the report said, citing a statement from the firm.

HSBC did not give data on forex trades settled by traditional processes, but said those settled by blockchain represented a “small” proportion, according to the report.

Still, the data marks a significant milestone in the use of blockchain by mainstream finance, which has until now been reluctant to start using the technology at any scale, Reuters noted.

Banks and other financial firms have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in blockchain technology, hoping it will simplify and slash costs in processes from settlements to payments.

But few banks moved from testing to implementation of blockchain in large-scale projects. Many are worried about high costs, uncertainty over regulation and the risk of disruption to existing systems.

HSBC said its blockchain technology has automated manual processes and reduced its reliance on external technology.

Blockchain has also lowered the risks of errors and delays, cut costs, and helped the bank to better optimise its balance sheet, it said.

Richard Bibbey, HSBC’s acting head of forex and commodities, said the global banking giant is looking at how the technology can help multinational clients better manage forex flows.

-- Contact us at [email protected]