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HSBC settles FX deals worth $250 billion on blockchain in last year

Reuters  |  LONDON 

By Tom Wilson

LONDON (Reuters) - has settled $250 billion worth of forex trades using blockchain in the last year, it said on Monday, suggesting the is gaining traction in a sector until now hesitant to embrace it.

The has settled over three million forex trades and made over 150,000 payments since February using blockchain, it said in a statement. would not give data on forex trades settled by traditional processes, saying only that those settled by blockchain represented a "small" proportion.

Still, the data marks a significant milestone in the use of blockchain by mainstream finance, which has until now been reluctant to start using the technology at any scale.

Blockchain is a shared database that can process and settle transactions in minutes. Originally conceived to underpin the cryptocurrency bitcoin, the technology does not require third-parties for checks and its entries cannot be changed, making it highly secure.

and other financial firms have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in the technology, hoping it will simplify and slash costs in processes from settlements to payments.

But few moved from testing to implementation of blockchain in large-scale projects. Many are worried about high costs, uncertainty over regulation and the risk of disruption to existing systems.

said its has automated manual processes and reduced its reliance on

Blockchain has also lowered the risks of errors and delays, cut costs, and helped the to better optimise its balance sheet, it said.

Richard Bibbey, the bank's acting and commodities, said in a statement the was looking at how the technology could help multinational clients better manage forex flows.

(Reporting by Tom Wilson, Editing by William Maclean)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, January 14 2019. 23:36 IST