Deutsche Bank (DB) is researching how blockchain technology can be used for a plethora of applications as part its investment in digital initiatives over the next five years.
Reports of the bank examining the technology first emerged in June, citing unnamed sources who indicated that a formal announcement was forthcoming.
In a response letter to the European Securities and Markets Authority’s (ESMA) Call for Evidence on virtual currency as it applies to investments, the bank indicated that it is “exploring the potential commercial applications of distributed ledger and block chain technologies.”
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The research comprises a portion of the “digital element” of ‘Strategy 2020’ plan, a 5-year business plan that outlines how the bank will compete globally. The new focus on digital will be anchored from three innovations labs in Berlin, London and Silicon Valley.
Such investment is becoming a growing trend among major banks, who foresee disruptive technologies as potential threats- or opportunities- for their revenue streams.
DB envisions the distributed ledger for more applications than just securities trading or currency transfers. It also sees potential in the areas of of Know your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML), as well as regulatory reporting.
In discussing the risks of the new technology, the bank noted that virtual currency rules should “keep pace with innovation and avoid creating barriers to market entry through regulation.”