HSBC bank is planning on tracking roughly $20 billion in assets on a blockchain-based custody platform early next year, Reuters reported Wednesday.
According to the report, HSBC intends to move its current paper-based records onto its Digital Vault platform by March 2020, allowing investors to track securities in real-time. The U.K.-based bank will specifically digitize its private placement records, allowing investors to quickly check on holdings.
The records are currently held in paper-based records, according to the report. It can be “tricky and time-consuming” to access them in their present form.
HSBC is only transferring 40 percent of its records onto a blockchain, according to the report. The bank holds $50 billion in assets at present.
While using a blockchain platform is intended to save costs, HSBC “could not quantify the amount that could be saved for the bank or its clients,” Reuters said.
An independent consultant, Windsor Holden, told Reuters that he does not expect any savings will be announced before the latter half of 2021 after the platform is rolled out.
The bank has experimented with blockchain tools for more than a year now. In January, HSBC announced it had settled some 3 million foreign exchange transactions using a blockchain platform, conducting some $250 billion in trades in the process. The sum included another 150,000 in payments.
The bank has also hinted at using blockchain to digitize letters of credit in the past.
HSBC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.