HSBC bank is planning on tracking about $20bn in assets on a blockchain-based custody platform early next year, Reuters reports.
The platform, known as Digital Vault, will give investors real-time access to records of securities bought on private markets, HSBC told Reuters, and seeks to capitalise on booming interest in such investments by yield-hungry investors.
The records are currently held in paper. It can be "tricky and time-consuming" to access them in their present form.
With some of the yields that are on offer, we are definitely seeing an increase in demand"
HSBC is only transferring 40% of its records onto a blockchain, according to the report. The bank currently holds $50bn in assets.
While using a blockchain platform is intended to save costs, HSBC "could not quantify the amount that could be saved for the bank or its clients," Reuters said.
An independent consultant, Windsor Holden, said that he does not expect any savings will be announced before the latter half of 2021 after the platform is rolled out.
HSBC's head of securities services division, Ciaran Roddy, said that the interest in private placements from insurers is growing at a fast pace in the UK, the USA, as well as in the Asian and Middle Eastern region."With some of the yields that are on offer, we are definitely seeing an increase in demand,"she said.
Since its inception into the financial world, blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies have been in the focus of the banking sector from around the world. These institutions have gambled billions of dollars to explore the possible developments and innovations in the decentralized space. However, the entities adopting applications for its practical use are still very few.
Proponents say the blockchain will upend the financial sector by cutting out costly processes or the need for middlemen - though there have been few solid examples yet of such revolutionary use.