BNP Paribas explores potential of blockchain

BNP Paribas’ corporate trade and treasury solutions team has completed its first ‘blockchain bizhackathon’, applying it to the bank’s transaction banking activities. The team aimed to assess real-world potential blockchain technology applications for use in both trade finance and cash management.

Over two days, more than 70 participants – including internal teams, clients and startups – assessed how the technology could “concretely improve both the customer experience and the efficiency of the services offered” across various use cases in cash management and correspondent banking, trade finance and documentation, supply chain management, commodity financing and account opening.

BNP Paribas, which began exploring the potential of blockchain technology in 2011, said that resulting ideas would be subjected further analysis over the year ahead to assess their feasibility in a live business context.

Marc Carlos, the bank’s head of corporate trade and treasury solutions, commented: “Our first ‘bizhackathon’ helped us to highlight the opportunities of the blockchain for our flow financing activities and our financial services to corporate treasurers, as well as its potential applications to improve our practices, review and optimise our processes, and reinforce the reliability, traceability and security of our transactions.

“Our clients’ contribution over the two days was invaluable because it helped us, not only to understand their needs, but also to reflect together on how to reinvent the way in which we can work together to enhance the quality and relevance of our client solutions.

“The presence of internationally-renowned experts in blockchain technology in each of our groups also helped us to work in an agile and rapid way, accelerating the process of reflecting on, and analysing the options”.

BNP Paribas recently acquired a stake in US financial technology (fintech) start-up Digital Asset Holdings and also participates in bank-backed blockchain international consortia R3 and the European CDC initiative.


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