Italy has around 100 banks formally operating on blockchain

Written by: Ali Raza
October 14, 2020
  • The latest wave of Italian banks joining the banking blockchain, Spunta, includes 42 new institutions.
  • With these 42 new banks, there are currently around 97 banks in Italy that operate on the blockchain.
  • Switching to blockchain technology speeds up the process of reconciliation, making it very beneficial.

Italian banks are rapidly migrating to the country’s official banking blockchain network, Spunta. The latest addition includes 42 new banks, which has raised the total number of banks operating on blockchain to around 100 institutions.

Nearly 100 banks in Italy now use blockchain

The new information comes from the announcement published by the Italian Banking Association (ABI).

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Originally, banks started joining Spunta — built on R3’s Corda — earlier this year, between the months of March and May. Back then, 55 banks joined, wishing to improve the speed of settlements and interbank data transfers.

And, according to ABI, they did just that. Since March 2020, there were over 204 million transactions that Spunta’s infrastructure managed to process. According to current calculations, that number is likely to go beyond 350 million before the end of 2020.

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How does blockchain technology help banks?

The process of processing transactions and data between different banks is infamously long and complex. Banks basically do not trust each other, which means that payments and data flowing from one bank to another needs to be approved of and agreed upon by all participating institutions. They need to perform complex calculations to determine how much money one bank owes the other, and alike.

Blockchain technology significantly speeds up the process, which is why joining it makes sense for these institutions. Before switching to the blockchain, such reconciliations took entire weeks to complete. With blockchain, all of it can be done within a day.

So far, banks have been joining Spunta in waves, with the initial wave including 32 banks. 23 more joined in March, and now, 42 new ones migrated to blockchain in October, raising the total to 97 banks to date.

However, ABI itself is made up of more than 700 banks, so there are plenty more to come in the future, once they determine that such a move would be very beneficial for them. ABI even made an announcement earlier in 2020, noting that banks in Italy might be ready to create a digital euro, which would be yet another CBDC ready to see the launch.