Spanish banks move ahead with blockchain platform for digital IDs

Spanish banks move ahead with blockchain platform for digital IDs

A consortium of Spanish banks is moving ahead with the development of a blockchain-based digital identity platform slated for live testing before the end of the year.

Supported by eight companies (Abanca, Bankia, Caixabank, Caixa Ontinyent, Ibercaja, Kutxabank, Liberbank and Unicaja Bank) and led by Cecabank in collaboration with Grant Thornton, the Niuron consortium was established in 2017 with the aim of building tools designed to combat money laundering and boost KYC efforts.

Five members of the coalition are now kicking on with a project to verify the identities of new clients and share the data with other consortium members.

The project is the continuation of a proof of concept stage completed last September, which demonstrated improvements in cybersecurity and the traceability of operations, increased transparency and privacy, savings in costs due to removing intermediaries and ultimately, making the client the owner of their data.

A similar initiative, Red Lyra, initially backed by Banco Sabadell, Banco Santander and BBVA, has since rebranded as Alastria and expanded its focus to bring on telecomms firms and utilities to serve as a common national hub for sharing client bona fides.

Separately, BBVA is reporting the closing of a EUR325 million revolving long-term credit line for Repsol, conducted over a mix of different public and private blockchain-based platforms. The undertaking follows an April announcement by the Spanish bank of the closing of a EUR75 million corporate loan using blockchain technology with technology partner Indra.

Earlier this week BBVA CEO Carlos Torres Vila also announced that the bank will later this year begin testing the negotiation and contracting of syndicated loans using blockchain.

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