Global executive attitudes toward blockchain
Among banks, blockchain gets a green light
Bankers have historically been skeptical of how secure blockchain technology will be for their tightly regulated industry.

But that attitude has shifted dramatically over the past few years as they have become more familiar with the technology and more excited about its potential uses.

More than half of business executives say that blockchain will be critical to their company’s success over the next three years, according to a report by Accenture.

And in a Deloitte survey of over 1,000 executives globally, 43% said blockchain is one of their top-five strategic priorities.

At the Consensus 2018 conference, FedEx's founder and chief executive, Frederick W. Smith, said, "Blockchain has the potential to completely revolutionize trade across borders."

Some banks are making large investments in assorted initiatives involving distributed ledger technology.

The following is a look at why and how institutions in the financial services industry are using blockchain.
Santander sign outside a branch.
Signage is seen during an event to rebrand Sovereign Bank NA to Santander at the company's first bank branch in New York, U.S., on Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013. Sovereign Bank, four years after it was bought by Banco Santander SA, will begin changing its name at 32 branches throughout Connecticut and another 673 throughout the Northeast as the rebranding campaign is launched. Photographer: Ron Antonelli/Bloomberg
Bank blockchain leader
By adopting blockchain, the global banking industry could save as much as $20 billion by 2022, according to the management consulting firm Accenture.

Santander certainly seems to think that will happen. It became the first U.K. bank to use blockchain to create a new international payments service, One Pay FX, which will first allow customers to transfer money between Santander accounts in Europe and South America.

Santander also piloted a blockchain effort for shareholder voting with Broadridge, JPMorgan Chase and Northern Trust.
Container ship coming into Los Angeles port
The APL Danube container ship approaches the Port of Los Angeles in Los Angeles, California, U.S., on Wednesday, March 28, 2018. Long-only exchange-traded funds (ETFs) linked to broad baskets of energy, metals and agricultural products attracted $2.66 billion this quarter, Bloomberg Intelligence estimates show. While that's the largest quarterly inflow in data going back to 2005, the stream of money slowed in March as the U.S.-China trade row clouded the outlook for economic growth. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg
A boatload of efficiency
HSBC, meanwhile, has used a shipment of soybeans as a test for a trade finance transaction using blockchain. Working with the Dutch bank ING, it issued a letter of credit for the U.S. food and agriculture firm Cargill.

HSBC used a platform from the blockchain consortium R3 and said it completed the transaction in 24 hours. Usually such trades require up to 10 days for paperwork to be cleared.
Christine Moy, Blockchain Program Lead at JPMorgan.
Testing continues at JPMorgan's Quorum
Batting off rumors it will be spun off, JPMorgan Chase's blockchain unit Quorum has tested a new application to handle finance instruments, and phantom-issued a $150 million, one-year, floating-rate Yankee certificate of deposit on the blockchain.

“Overall, the promise of blockchain is that you’re sharing infrastructure between participants — so issuer, dealer, investors, custodians and administrators can all see one golden source of truth of a trade or in this case a debt instrument,” said Christine Moy, program lead for JPMorgan Chase’s Blockchain Center of Excellence.
Banks trading crypto?
Amber Baldet, the former head of JPMorgan's blockchain unit, meanwhile, says that Wall Street will start trading cryptocurrencies "sooner than people probably think." She acknowledged, however, that obstacles remain.

"But even where the will is, the legal and regulatory framework is challenging," she said.

At Consensus 2018 last week, she debuted a decentralized app store called Clovyr.
The Goldman Sachs & Co. logo is displayed at the company's booth on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., on Friday, July 19, 2013. U.S. stocks fell after benchmark equities gauges rose to records yesterday, as worse-than-estimated profit from Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) overshadowed China’s plan to remove the floor on lending rates. Photographer: Scott Eells/Bloomberg
Big-money bets
Goldman Sachs has become one the biggest investors in blockchain technology, according to CB Insights.

The cryptocurrency startup Circle, which is backed by Goldman Sachs, raised $110 million in an investment round led by the Chinese virtual coin mining giant Bitmain Technologies on May 15. Goldman is still committed to being the first Wall Street bank to open a bitcoin trading operation.
Infosys CEO Salil Parekh
United under one blockchain
The Indian IT giant Infosys is piloting a trade network called India Trade Connect with seven Indian private banks.

The network aims to digitize trade finance business processes, increase automation and transparency and help manage risks in chain financing.
Bank of Montreal signage is displayed outside a branch in Vancouver.
Global consortium
Bank of Montreal joined several European banks in developing Batavia, a blockchain trade finance platform.

The consortium — which includes Spain’s CaixaBank, Germany’s Commerzbank, Erste Group of Central and Eastern Europe-based, IBM and Switzerland’s UBS — said it successfully completed its first live pilot transactions with corporate clients in April. Among the trades? Cars and fibers for textiles.
The logo of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) is displayed on a sign outside a Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi branch in Tokyo.
The logo of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. (MUFG) is displayed on a sign outside a Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd. branch in Tokyo, Japan, on Thursday, May 11, 2017. MUFG is scheduled to release full-year earnings figures on May 15. Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg
Fostering collaboration
Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group in Tokyo announced on May 21 that it had partnered with Akamai Technologies in Cambridge, Mass., to develop and launch its own blockchain for payments.

The companies said the platform was capable of processing transactions in less than 2 seconds, and of processing 1 million transactions per second.