HSBC (NYSE:HSBC) is gearing up to use blockchain technology in live transactions. On the other end of the spectrum, JP Morgan (NYSE:JPM) joins the financial institutions labeling cryptocurrencies as a risk to their business. Two major banking institutions with two different reactions to cryptocurrency.
HSBC may be close to launching several different pilot programs that will help the banking giant incorporate live blockchain transactions into the business.
The pilot programs will be based on pre-existing proof-of-concept (PoC) projects. HSBC has been conducting trials with blockchain technology for several years now. In August 2016, the financial institution announced that it was testing blockchain technology to potentially take over letters of credit.
Senior innovation manager Joshua Kroeker said:
“Going from that PoC in 2016, we’re at the tipping point of getting our customers involved in live transactions in the coming weeks and months. The technology has come a long way, we’re much more comfortable with its security and scalability.”
Letters of credit will continue to be the first point HSBC focuses on, as this is what many of its clients have the most trouble converting to crypto.
HSBC is in the process of integrating customers into its pilot programs. Although more blockchain research needs to be done, the bank estimates a live launch date of early 2019.
JP Morgan, however, appears to be leaning in the opposite direction.
The global financial services company indicated that it believes cryptocurrency may pose a threat to its business. In the annual 10-K filing with the SEC, JP Morgan listed the impact of cryptocurrencies as a “risk factor” that could disrupt its operations.
The reasoning behind this, according to the bank, is that:
“New technologies have required and could require JPMorgan Chase to spend more to modify or adapt its products to attract and retain clients and customers or to match products and services offered by its competitors, including technology companies.”
JP Morgan isn’t the first bank to raise its concerns about cryptocurrencies. Both the Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) and Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) listed crypto as potential risk factors as well. The reasons have varied; people choosing crypto options over traditional banking, crypto poses risks and the regulatory concerns with it.
Which bank do you agree with? HSBC or JP Morgan?
Featured image: stevepb