Two leading banking groups in Spain, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) and Santander have joined the European Union International Association for Trusted Blockchain Applications (IATBA).
With the aim to garner support for its blockchain-related strategy, the European Union (EU) invited representatives from public institutions and the private sector to take part in a conference entitled ‘Uniting EU Industries to Lead Blockchain Technologies.’
Representatives of the two banking groups BBVA and Santander joined Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, and Roberto Viola, Director of the E.U. Department of Communications Networks, Content and Technology in a roundtable. Carlos Kuchkovsky, Head of Research & Development New Digital Business was present in the conference on behalf of BBVA.
During the meeting, EU officials announced that the IATBA would be launched in the first fiscal quarter of 2019. The IATBA is an initiative backed by the member countries of the EU cooperating to establish “a European Blockchain Services Infrastructure that will support the delivery of cross-border digital public services, with the highest standards of security and privacy.”
The EU earlier announced that it strives to boost interoperability between blockchain and distributed ledger technologies, formulate appropriate rules and protocols, thereby, promoting EU standards across the world. The initiative aims “to bring together companies interested in exploring the potential of blockchain and distributed ledger technologies (DLT) to transform digital services at a global level.”
Expressing his confidence in EU’s common blockchain project, Kuchkovsky said that the project is most likely to establish the best processes and standards in blockchain technology. This, he believes, is the perfect opportunity for Europe to rise up to global standards. Therefore, it is important to develop a system of governance that aligns the diverse participating industries and their objectives.
BBVA has been seen venturing into various blockchain related projects and its associated solutions. Earlier this month, BBVA had carried out a blockchain-based syndicated loan of $150 million. The syndicated bank transaction was conducted on a private blockchain network comprising of three funding banks— France’s BNP Paribas, Japan’s Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG), and BBVA. Back in June, BBVA and Spanish energy company Repsol had entered into a partnership to develop blockchain-based solutions for corporate banking. The product was developed using multiple blockchain technologies like Hyperledger and the Ethereum test network.
Similarly, Santander joined five other leading banks namely, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Natixis, Rabobank and Société Général in completing the first live operations on a trading platform powered by the IBM Blockchain Platform. Back in April, Santander became the first bank to offer blockchain settlements for retail customers using Ripple.