Standard Chartered Exec Touts Blockchain Tech for Trade Finance

Pete Rizzo
Jul 14, 2015 at 20:56 UTC
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Anju Patwardhan, Standard CharterThe bitcoin blockchain could hold the keys to reducing the cost of credit cards, money transfers and remittances, according to Standard Chartered chief innovation officer Anju Patwardhan.

In a new LinkedIn post, Patwardhan outlined her views on the technology, suggesting that the true innovation behind bitcoin is its decentralized public ledger, the blockchain.

Patwardhan dismissed the idea that bitcoin could become a viable alternative currency, inferring that she saw these developments in the space as a distraction that has taken attention away from the system’s underlying benefits.

Patwardhan wrote:

“The banking industry is starting to see the many potential benefits of its underlying technology. For banks, the blockchain has the potential to become a technology model for a low-cost and transparent transaction infrastructure.”

Further, she said the public, yet pseudonymous nature of transactions on the bitcoin blockchain could help make financial institutions more transparent, while combating against money laundering and other fiscal crimes.

“Another area where the blockchain technology can be useful is trade finance. This has traditionally been a paper-intensive process but it is possible to use blockchain technology to digitise and authenticate the records,” Patwardhan continues.

As evidence that banks should perhaps be paying closer attention to the space, Patwardhan cited the increasingly positive remarks of government financial entities such as the Bank of England and the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

Though she suggested that the blockchain may provide the most immediate opportunity for financial entities, however, Patwardhan suggested that cryptocurrencies like bitcoin could prove just as disruptive long term.

Images via LinkedIn; Wikipedia