HSBC Pilots Blockchain Securities Tracking

By March, HSBC will swap out the paper and pen for blockchain to track $20 billion of assets.

What that means: The London-based bank told Reuters last week it’s introducing Digital Vault, a blockchain-based custody platform that lets investors track securities records on private markets in real-time. 

It’s too soon to say whether this will lead to serious cost savings for HSBC and clients…or if it’s just tech-forward PR. But HSBC thinks the digital ledger technology will be more efficient than its current paper-based data storage methods. If that’s true, its clients will be able to retrieve private market data and act on it more quickly with Digital Vault. 

Big picture: Finance execs have criticized bitcoin but complemented the underlying blockchain tech. Now, banks are moving beyond talk and beginning testing. Well, for HSBC it’s far more than a test. It says it’ll transfer 40% of its assets to Digital Vault. 

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