Yesterday HSBC announced that it leveraged blockchain to settle more than three million foreign exchange transactions during the last year. It used its HSBC FX Everywhere platform for 150,000 payments amongst HSBC group companies worth $250 billion.
“The global, cross-border nature of HSBC and its clients sees us conducting thousands of foreign exchange transactions within the bank, across multiple balance sheets, in dozens of countries,” said Richard Bibbey, HSBC’s interim global head, FX and commodities. “HSBC FX Everywhere uses distributed ledger technology to drastically increase the efficiency of these internal flows.”
“Following successful implementation inside the bank, we are now exploring how this technology could help multinational clients – who also have multiple treasury centres and cross-border supply chains – better manage foreign exchange flows within their organisations.”
Other HSBC initiatives
To date, HSBC has been actively using blockchain in multiple trade finance projects. Although most of the projects are consortia, HSBC has been particularly involved in the Voltron Letter of Credit project. At one stage, to accelerate progress, HSBC commissioned Hong Kong-based CryptoBLK to advance the project technology. Current Voltron members are HSBC, ING, Bangkok Bank, BNP Paribas, CTBC Holding, NatWest, SEB, and Standard Chartered. The project will go into production early this year.
Additionally, HSBC was a founding member of we.trade. The trade finance company is jointly owned by several banks and went live last year. we.trade inked a deal with eTradeConnect the blockchain trade finance platform initiated by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority where HSBC is also a member.
Outside of trade finance, the bank has also backed New York-based Axoni which was founded to improve capital markets infrastructure using blockchain. The company has a post-trade FX blockchain solution. HSBC also invested in R3 which is behind the Corda enterprise blockchain that underpins the Voltron project.