Blockchain allows us to develop of a new concept of government, one with more global and transparent citizen services.
Alicia Pertusa, head of Client Solutions Strategy at BBVA, has been involved in the different ‘blockchain’ research projects and pilots that BBVA has carried out over the past five years. The launch of its first bitcoin transaction and custody service in Switzerland was a landmark achievement for BBVA. The rollout was made possible thanks to the regulatory framework set up by the Helvetian country, which provides a unique opportunity to explore innovation in digital asset management. In this interview, Pertusa explains how this service is just a first step in an area that is going to have a direct impact on how we exchange not only money, but also any valuable asset or piece of information.
Central bank-backed digital currencies, such as the potential digital euro and digital yuan, may become a reality in the coming years. Unlike cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, these currencies promise less volatility and greater security. In addition, they will have the support of their respective monetary institutions, responsible for ensuring financial stability.
The tokenisation of assets via blockchain could facilitate new financing pathways, guarantee secure investments and programme digital money so that it can only be used for certain purposes, although the associated regulations have not yet materialised.
BBVA has begun to roll out the trials of what will become its first commercial service for the trading and custody of digital assets. The new service, which is to be offered through BBVA Switzerland, will make it possible to manage bitcoin transactions and have deposits in this cryptocurrency.
Digital Regulation Senior Manager BBVA
2019 has seen the first 5G networks rolled out and the first achievements in quantum computing, as well as the establishment of various financial initiatives using blockchain. These three technologies will mark a before and after in the banking sector in the years to come.
Garanti BBVA is the only private Turkish bank participating in Turkey’s blockchain network, the BiGA Digital Asset Transform Platform, developed by Istanbul Clearing, Settlement and Custody Bank (Takasbank). For the first time, Garanti BBVA carried out blockchain transfers in real time with other participating banks.
In this second article, BBVA experts in various fields give their views on the changes and breakthroughs that happened during 2019, and the ones we will see in the technological banking landscape in 2020.
Banks and investors as starting to awaken to the benefits that can derive from the use of blockchain technologies in bond issues, including green bonds. BBVA and Spanish insurance company Mapfre partnered early this year to arrange the issue of a pioneering blockchain sustainable bond. The technology allows to cut costs, increase efficiency and ensure full transparency.
BBVA has named the winner of its newly created Open Talent Award for Sustainability as Australian last mile start-up AgUnity.
Ricardo Martin Manjón was named as BBVA Global Head of Data in April this year, having previously been the bank’s Global Head of Data Strategy and Data Science Innovation. His role sees him lead the bank’s development, deployment and future thinking around how BBVA drives forward its use of data throughout the Group, so it can achieve its strategic objective of bringing the age of opportunity to everyone.
In this interview Martin Manjón outlines why BBVA has a strategic focus on data, how that manifests itself across the entire group, what it will mean for customers in the future and the critical importance scale plays in data management.
Continuous innovation and the gradual decline of the use of cash are giving way to a new digital monetary system. According to José Manuel González-Páramo, executive director and head of global economics and public affairs at BBVA, central banks must define the new role they will play coming out of this transformation.
BBVA has been honoured with three accolades in the 2019 edition of Global Finance Magazine’s The Innovators Awards.
As the General Manager of the Bank of International Settlements (BIS), Agustín Carstens, said, “New technology is not the same as better, or more efficient technology.” However, you don’t have to be a techno-optimist to recognize that the evolution of technology is unstoppable and improvements can be expected to address things like the volatility of cryptocurrencies. In fact, solutions are already being considered for this problem, such as stable digital currency, or “stablecoins”.
Forbes magazine has included BBVA as one of the ‘Blockchain 50,’ a list that recognizes the leaders in the use and development of this exponential technology. The U.S. publication specifically focused on BBVA’s efforts in the area of blockchain-powered syndicated loans, which are used by the bank to further transparency, security, and efficiency throughout its business processes.
José Manuel González-Páramo, BBVA’s Head of Global Economics and Public Affairs, at a meeting organized by the Institute of International Finance (IIF) in Washington, D.C. defended a regulatory framework for the financial sector that promotes the potential benefits of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT). Blockchain, as the first fully functional DLT, was key to the discussion.
BBVA is one of the founding members of the International Association of Trusted Blockchain Applications (INATBA), which was officially launched today in Brussels. Carlos Kuchkovsky, CTO of New Digital Businesses at BBVA, represents the only Spanish company on the new association’s ten-member Board.
The deal, structured as per the German debt instrument, is worth €220 million, which will be allocated to sustainable projects. Blockchain technology was used to manage the negotiation of the deal, and both BBVA and Madrid’s regional government used their own nodes to establish a network between the two parties.
BBVA Group issued the first structured green bond using blockchain technology to negotiate the terms and conditions. It is a private placement in which MAPFRE invested €35 million six year term bond linked to the evolution of the five year euro swap rate. With this bond issue, the BBVA Group demonstrates that it has the means, knowledge, and commitment to provide its clients cutting-edge products based on the latest technologies and innovative sustainable solutions.
Google recently obtained a payment license in Ireland and Lithuania in order to offer payment services. Alipay, the financial division of Alibaba, received a similar license in Luxembourg. Facebook has had one since 2017. These licenses open the door to Internet giants operating as payment service providers across Europe, allowing them to manage card payments and transfers, for example. Is this merely the first step to them becoming banks?
BBVA and the European Investment Bank Group (EIB) have signed a synthetic securitization of €1 billion. The agreement is a very innovative financing operation, as it is the first synthetic securitization to be supported by blockchain technology in the European Union and the third synthetic corporate loan securitisation signed by the EIB Group and BBVA. Moreover, BBVA and EIB Group will provide €360 million to finance investments projects of SMEs and midcaps.
The conference “Decentralized World” was recently held at BBVA’s Open Space in Madrid, focusing on the decentralization of the economy and trying to unravel some of the possibilities that blockchain technology can offer for data management in the future.
A group of prominent innovation leaders and experts gathered recently in Paris to attend the Innovation Leaders Summit, organized by the MIT Technology Review. BBVA’s was the only major bank to take part as speaker at the event. Here, it debated on current topics, such as the role of blockchain in the emerging tokenized economy and the security challenges posed by quantum computing.
BBVA is one of the first five banks invited to join a blockchain forum organized by the European Commission (EC) in Brussels to, subsequently, join the launch of the IATBA, an European platform to promote the use of blockchain. The purpose of this publicly-sponsored initiative is to garner support from private blockchain and DLT experts to contribute to outline the EU’s strategy regarding these technologies.
CreditGate24, a company that specializes in financing to individuals and companies, has been chosen as the best Swiss startup in the final of BBVA Open Talent Switzerland held in Zürich. The fintech will represent Switzerland in the global final to be held October 16-17 in Madrid.
This open-source blockchain platform has made its way into different sectors of the economy and aims to become the blockchain technology standard in the world of business. BBVA is an official member of the Hyperledger consortium and has used its technological platform to manage blockchain-powered corporate loans.
Some companies are now working to incorporate blockchain technology into smartphones. A cell phone that incorporates these characteristics could become the most secure on the market. This would be possible thanks to blockchain’s intrinsic security provisions.
The tools known as cryptowallets allow the storage and exchange of cryptocurrencies, and are becoming increasingly relevant in the context of the cryptoeconomy and blockchain boom. It is important to recognize their characteristics and differences, as not all offer the same levels of security.
Advances in technology contribute to economic progress and have a direct, long-term impact on society’s well-being. Clearly, digital transformation creates opportunities that improve both our lives and our businesses. BBVA shares this view: the bank has made a commitment to new technologies such as blockchain, which allow it to offer innovative financing approaches to its corporate clients.
Blockchain is one of the most disruptive new technologies in the world of finance. But currently its use in the sector is focused mainly on the underlying technology – Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT)- to create applications or redesign processes rather than in creating cryptoassets. The reason? Blockchain applications have the potential to improve the efficiency, transparency and traceability of processes while cryptoassets are volatile.
Having successfully carried out the first pilots in the world of a loan and a corporate credit facility using blockchain, BBVA has signed a new loan with ACS using this technology. The deal shows that BBVA Corporate & Investment Banking is continuing to focus on an innovative financing model for its corporate clients.