Blockchain System Tests In Italian Banking

Dawid Paluch
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The Italian Banking Association (ABI) has completed the first test phase of its new interbank system powered by blockchain. Banks in Italy are ready now to launch the next phase of trials, according to Ansa, an Italian news website.

14 Banks in Italy: Credit Agricole, BNL BNP Paribas Group, Banca Mediolanum, Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, Banca Sella, Banca Popolare di Sondrio, Banco BPM, CheBanca! – Gruppo Mediobanca, Credito Emiliano, Credito Valtellinese, Iccrea Banca, Intesa Sanpaolo, Nexi Banca, Ubi, are trying to improve their interbanking processes. They are applying Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), a system of replicated, shared, and synchronized digital data spread across many sites, without the centralized administration. ABI wants to upgrade time for processing operations. Association also wishes to raise banking information transparency.

First ideas of using blockchain

Everything started this year, in June. Association revealed its plans to use blockchain technology in their systems for banking operations. The action is called Spunta Project and is managed by ABI Lab, the banking research and innovation centre.

The first phase of the tests involved technical procedural verification. According to the report, Banking Association has done 1.2 million operations on 14 banks’ nodes, with one node for each bank. It seems that the trial was successful. Now, they are ready to take another step.

Let’s take another step

Phase two will include working on daily operations with a special application. ABI decided to work with Corda DLT platform from R3 company. Association also develops an app with another tech firm NTT.

Implementation of a new technology might be difficult, though. Deloitte ran an independent audit for Italian Banking Association. From their report we know, that this blockchain ecosystem has some flaws, including potentially too slow speed of transactions. Nevertheless, ABI will proceed to make blockchain useful for their purposes.

Blockchain is the future of banking

There were other implementations of blockchain technology in banks all over the world. A few weeks ago PKO Bank Polski, Polish largest bank showed its plans to use blockchain for client documents.

A day later PKO explained, how it’s working.

In Thailand banks also tried to use a new technology. Kasikornbank, the fourth largest bank in the country, became the first in Thailand to implement blockchain. They’re using Visa B2B Connect program, powered by blockchain.


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