As per Spanish economic newspaper Expansion, Banking groups Banco Santander and BBVA have joined the E.U. International Association for Trusted Blockchain Applications (IATBA).
The representatives of both Spanish Banking groups were invited to an E.U. blockchain round-table held in Brussels by the commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, Mariya Gabriel and Mr. Roberto Viola, director of the E.U. Department of Communications Networks, Content and Technology.
As per BBVA press release, during the meeting, E.U. officials revealed that the IATBA will start in the first fiscal quarter of 2019. The primary purpose of the association is to develop E.U. blockchain regulation, along with preparing the launch of E.U.-wide blockchain applications.
As per Expansion, Banco Santander and BBVA are amongst the first five banks invited to join IATBA. The other members of the association have not yet been disclosed.
IATBA is an initiative backed by the European Blockchain Partnership a collaboration of 27 E.U. nations including, France, Germany, UK, Ireland, and the Netherlands. As earlier reported, the states cooperate to establish ‘a European Blockchain Services Infrastructure that will help the delivery of cross-border digital public services, with the highest standards of security and privacy.’
While the CEO of BBVA has earlier noted some of the limitation and challenges of blockchain technology, the firm has tested several blockchain solutions. In June, the bank collaborates with Spanish energy company Repsol to test different blockchain technologies, namely Hyperledger and Ethereum.
Recently, BBVA carried out a $150 million loan on a private blockchain network through a group of three funding banks including French banking group BNP Paribas and Japan’s bank holding Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG).
Santander is further interested in decentralized technologies. In July, it joined IBM’s Blockchain Platform along with four other banks and formed a research team to explore the use of blockchain in securities trading.