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Banking groups BBVA and Banco Santander join the European Union IATBA

Alan Muli

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According to reports that emerged on 20th November 2018, banking groups BBVA and Banco Santander have joined the European Union IATBA (International Association for Trusted Blockchain Applications).

The reports emerged shortly after a roundtable meeting in Brussels between Mariya Gabriel and Roberto Viola. Mariya Gabriel is the commissioner for Digital Economy and Society whereas Viola is director of the E.U. Department of Communications Networks, Content and Technology.

It was reported that the IATBA  will launch in 2019 during the first financial quarter. The association’s main aim is to develop the regulation of blockchain in the European Union. Blockchain regulation is not its only aim, but also to prepare for the launch of E.U.–wide blockchain applications.

Why IATBA?

BBVA and Santander are among five banks invited to join IATBA, the other members are yet to be named.

The European Blockchain Partnership (EBP), a collaboration among 27 E.U. member states, promotes the IATBA initiative. The states unite to establish a blockchain services infrastructure. An infrastructure that supports the delivery of digital public services across borders safely and privately. It is understood that the bank groups wanted to be part of such an initiative and enjoy the benefits of blockchain technology.

Testing Blockchain Technologies

BBVA noted some limitations of the blockchain technology. “The firm has tested several blockchain solutions. It did so in partnership with Spanish company Repsol in June to taste blockchain technologies. The technologies tested were Ethereum and Hyperledger,” read a statement from BBVA.

BBVA recently carried out a loan of $150 million on a private blockchain network. It did this through a group of funding banks namely BNP Paribas and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group.

Santander also expressed an interest in decentralized technologies. It joined IBM’s Blockchain Platform in July along with other four banks to create a research team to explore the use of blockchain in trading of securities.

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