Santander: Blockchain Tech Can Save Banks $20 Billion a Year

Blockchain tech could reduce banks' infrastructural costs by $15-20 billion a year by 2022, says a new report by Santander InnoVentures.

AccessTimeIconJun 16, 2015 at 11:15 a.m. UTC
Updated May 9, 2023 at 3:02 a.m. UTC

Blockchain technologies could reduce banks' infrastructural costs by $15-20bn a year by 2022, a new report from Santander InnoVentures claims.

The FinTech 2.0 Paper, produced in collaboration with Oliver Wyman and Anthemis Group, says distributed ledger technology could save banks money by eliminating central authorities and bypassing slow, expensive payment networks.

Beyond payments, its authors identify other areas of potential for distributed ledgers, noting:

"In time, distributed ledgers will support 'smart contracts' – computer protocols that verify or enforce contracts. This will lead to a wide variety of potential uses in securities, syndicated lending, trade finance, swaps, derivatives or wherever counterparty risk arises."

Blockchain technology could also increase investor confidence in products whose underlying assets are opaque or where property rights are made uncertain by the role of central authorities, the report says.

Other "attractive features" of the technology include transaction irreversibility, near-instantaneous clearing and settlement and a reduced margin of error, as individual transactions are openly verified by a community of network users.

"Commercial banks, central banks, stock exchanges and major technology providers, such as IBM and Samsung, are all exploring the potential uses of distributed ledgers [...] It is only a matter of time before distributed ledgers become a trusted alternative for managing large volumes of transactions."

The publication of the report follows Santander InnoVentures managing principal Mariano Belinky's statement at the FutureMoney conference that distributed ledgers have the potential to "transform" banking as we know it.

Speaking to CoinDesk in April, Belinky claimed bitcoin's underlying technology would gain mainstream traction sooner than the digital currency itself.

Blockchain trend

Santander InnoVentures' report on blockchain tech is the latest contribution to what is considered to be a growing trend among mainstream banks.

Just last month, the Euro Banking Association (EBA), released a report which stated that distributed ledgers had the potential to lower costs, increase speed and improve product offerings.

Similarly to Santander's report, the EBA publication highlighted that cooperation among Payment Service Providers (PSPs) and the crypto community was necessary as it would determine the future relationship between traditional banks and the '2.0' sector.

Piggy bank image via Shutterstock. 


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk’s longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to to register and buy your pass now.