Blockchain promises to change forever the way we manage information in the digital world. It allows data and funds to be transferred in a fully secure manner thanks to sophisticated coding and encryption. Santander is a pioneer in the implementation of blockchain in its services, improving customer service and efficiency.
You may have heard the term or not yet know what impact it could have on your life, but blockchain could change the way we interact in the digital banking world, enhancing transactions, security and management of the bank online among other things. It also reduces the red tape required in financial operations and increases transparency.
Blockchain technology allows device networks to be created with no need for a localised, central server to interconnect them. You could say that it works like an account ledger for recording purchases, sales and any transactions. For transactions to be recorded, they must have been approved by the other participants in the "block" network, that is, the users of this technology. And, once information has been entered into a ledger, it can no longer be deleted; rather, only new records may be added.
A quick, fraud-free alternative payment method
One advantage of this tool is that it affords the possibility of carrying out financial transactions quickly and securely and avoiding potential fraud and manipulation, given that it relies on coding and encryption. This allows companies to offer their customers a more global payment option, without compromising either parties’ security.
Another important benefit is the possibility of implementing a fully transparent business system in which we can all see the status of the accounts recorded in "this large ledger", i.e. what comes in and what goes out, in real time and at a low cost.
But blockchain works not only for financial transactions. With blockchain technology you can store and transfer important company documents and information without the risk of someone accessing that information without your consent. And, more importantly, without the risk of it being modified. To ensure security and transparency, Santander uses this technology for votes cast at our General Shareholders' Meeting.
We are investing in security and transparency
Mindful of blockchain technology's potential impact on the financial world, we have launched the first bond with end-to-end blockchain technology, which is a first step towards a possible secondary market for tokenised securities in the future. The USD 20 million bond will remain in blockchain until maturity.
We issued the bond using the Ethereum public blockchain, one of the most advanced open-source blockchain technologies, which allowed us to securely tokenise and record as permitted on the blockchain.
“Santander is at the cutting edge of the process of profound digital transformation of the financial sector and this transaction is one example. We want to make the most of any technology that accelerates this process, allowing our customers to progress and be faster and more efficient, and blockchain is one such technology," says Banco Santander's chief financial officer, José García Cantera.
More and more people and companies trust their data to this technology. Blockchain could soon become an everyday reality and, in our commitment to innovation, we want to contribute to a technology that will help create a more open, connected and transparent society for everyone.