Cryptocurrency is not only dividing politicians across the globe, but is also dividing the financial and banking industries. While many are distancing themselves from investigating and investing in cryptocurrency and the wallets associated with holding coins, several are discussing the potential future possibilities that they could provide.
HSBC has become the latest global bank to start making inroads into the cryptocurrency market, with their Global Head of Digital, Josh Bottomly, making the bank’s intentions known in a Forbes interview (see here https://www.forbes.com/sites/oliversmith/2018/07/19/hsbcs-global-head-of-digital-says-the-bank-is-cautiously-looking-at-crypto-use-cases/#e88447137668). He stated:
“We are cautious looking into this area…There’s a use case when you have a token or currency that’s actually useful for a particular purpose and it serves that need.”
However, it is important to note that the bank, as of yet, are only discussing the possible uses of the underlying blockchain technology, and are not planning on investing in the currencies themselves, or providing digital wallets to hold the coin.
However, it was HSBC who, in partnership with ING, used a single block chain platform to successfully pilot a commercially viable financial transaction. This only occurred last month (June 2018), alongside an announcement that the bank is planning on working towards a new blockchain based financial trading platform, in conjunction with 21 other banks.
Thus, the interview with Forbes and the comments from Josh Bottomly, combined with HSBC’s innovative actions suggest that cryptocurrencies is an area the bank is paying particular interest to, even if they don’t wish to publicly declare allegiance to either side of the debate.
Considering the size, market share, and global presence of HSBC, their attention on cryptocurrency and the underlying blockchain technology will help to promote the benefits of this industry. Given that the world’s five largest public companies are all also involved in blockchain to some extent, the future of blockchain seems secure, even if cryptocurrencies are taking more time to make positive inroads into public spheres.