CEOs of Two Major European Banks Say Blockchain Will Revolutionise Industry

Avi Rosten
  • The CEOs of the Dutch ING Group and Spanish banking giant BBVA have both said today that they see blockchain revolutionising the banking industry
  • Talking at the Money 2020 fintech conference today in Amsterdam, ING CEO Ralph Hamers remarked that he sees the revolution happening in "five or six years"

The CEOs of two major European banks have today emphasised how blockchain technology can revolutionise the banking industry.

Talking to CNBC at the Money 2020 fintech conference today in Amsterdam, Ralph Hamers - CEO of the Dutch ING Group - was keen to stress that the banking industry is getting on board with the new technology - commenting :

"So, if you look at blockchain… I think the banks are really working on this now because the potential is so huge and if the top five, six global banks would put their minds to it and agree on a standard, you could force (that) standard onto the globe… And I think that you can actually then get to a timeframe of five or six years in which this will work"

Ralph Hamers

While cryptocurrencies have largely been seen by their proponents as a challenge to the traditional banking system, the blockchain technology that undergirds digital currencies has recently been viewed by banks as a positive for the industry - insofar as decentralisaiton is seen to reduce inefficiencies and help prevent fraud.

In this vein, Chief Executive of Spanish banking group BBVA - Carlos Torres Villa - was also enthusiastic about the new tech:

“We believe there is huge promise in blockchain, it’s early times in the technology…It really brings trust in relationships in ways that were not possible for…It really reduces the need for intermediaries, things can go faster, more transparent, more efficient.”

Carlos Torres Villa

Adding that the bank was already putting the tech to real-world use through its €75m loan to Spanish tech company Indra:

“We did the first bilateral negotiation and execution of a loan, with Indra…entirely in the blockchain with a private ledger and then published that onto the ethereum ledger, it’s [these] kinds of experiments that we’re doing to test out the tech that has such great promise.”

Carlos Torres Villa

38% of Crypto Exchanges Interact With High-Risk Entities in 25% or More of Their Transactions

Leading cryptoasset data provider CryptoCompare has published an updated version of its cryptocurrency Exchange Benchmark. The report details that 38% of crypto exchanges interact with high-risk entities in 25% or more of their transactions.

According to CryptoCompare’s Exchange Benchmark, interactions with high-risk entities are considered when the cryptoasset data provider is raking exchanges. These interactions are measured according to CipherTrace’s Interaction Risk Score, which profiles transactional risk by “deanonymizing risky entities and illicit activities to identify criminal sources of funds and money laundering exposure.”

CryptoCompare then scores exchanges according to the percentage of transactions conducted with entities deemed high-risk. These include criminals, darknet markets and vendors, gambling projects, malware operators, cryptocurrency mixers, ransomware operators, and OFAC sanctions addresses.

The benchmark details that addresses with up to 25% of transactions conducted with these entities receive some points, but those above said mark receive none. Notably, 38% of cryptoasset exchanges were above it.

Data shared in the report detailed that Top-Tier cryptoasset exchanges, those graded AA to B in the report, interact less with these entities, while Lower-Tier exchanges, those rated C-E, interacted more. While both AA-related exchanges, Coinbase and Gemini, had no interactions with high-risk entities, some of the exchanges with A, BB, and B ratings did.

As CryptoGlobe reported, the Exchange Benchmark also revealed Top-Tier exchanges are gaining market share against Lower-Tier exchanges. It details that top-tier exchanges accounted for 32% of the global volumes in Q4 2019, while in the first quarter of this year they accounted for 36%.

In the second quarter of 2020, the Top-Tier exchanges already accounted for 40% of the global trading volume. In June these exchanges got to a 46% market share. Lower-Tier Exchanges, have seen their share of the space’s total trading volume drop from 68% to 60% in the last three quarters.

Featured image via Pixabay.