HSBC Eyeing South Korean Banking Partners for its Voltron Blockchain Platform

By Mary T. | March 14, 2019

International banking giant HSBC is searching for possible partnerships with South Korean banks to launch its Voltron blockchain platform that speeds up the turnaround time for banking processes.

National daily The Korea Times reported (Mar 12) Joshua Kroeker, director and blockchain lead for global commercial banking at HSBC in Hong Kong, as saying that Voltron is currently in a pilot stage, but the bank is looking to launch it commercially “in the near future” as it builds alliances with other banks and tech companies.

“I am here this week to reach out to Korean banks to collaborate on this blockchain platform for letters of credit,” Kroeker explained. HSBC wants to work together with Korean banks on the blockchain platform and share costs.

At present, it usually takes five to 10 business days, or as many as 30, to file or process trade papers. Voltron is anticipated to help drastically cut this processing time down to only 24 hours, as blockchain will allow different stakeholders to commonly access the data at any time.

“The biggest impact would be time. Time and transparency will help companies better manage their cash flow and working capital,” Kroeker added.

First launched in October last year, Voltron is a blockchain-based trade finance platform that helps companies operate and settle their trading invoices efficiently. The solution was developed by blockchain software firm R3 with eight major banks including HSBC. The others are Bangkok Bank, BNP Paribas, CTBC Holding, ING, NatWest, SEB, and Standard Chartered.

HSBC has been majorly looking into adopting blockchain technology solutions, noted TheCryptoSight. Last month, HSBC revealed that its blockchain-powered foreign exchange (forex) platform reduced 25% in costs compared to traditional settlement methods. In January, HSBC said it had harnessed distributed ledger technology (DLT) to settle over $250 billion worth of forex transactions.

Still the largest bank in and originally from Hong Kong, HSBC registered a new group holding company as HSBC Holdings in London in 1991. Today, it operates in 66 countries and territories, and is listed on both the London and Hong Kong stock exchanges.

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