Blockchain adoption ‘accelerating very quickly’ in big finance: Franklin Templeton exec

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Major financial firms like JPMorgan and HSBC are ramping up their blockchain-related activities several months before 2024, accelerating the adoption of distributed ledger technology (DLT) within traditional finance. 

In November, there was a rise in activity among major financial institutions like JPMorgan and HSBC. On Nov. 3, JPMorgan executed its first decentralized finance (DeFi) trade on a public blockchain. The company rolled out programmable payments for its institutional blockchain platform JPM Coin on Nov. 10. Executives of JPMorgan Chase and Apollo also unveiled plans for a tokenized enterprise mainnet on Nov. 28. 

Apart from JPMorgan, the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) has also been on the move. On Nov. 1, HSBC and financial services provider Ant Group tested tokenized deposits under a sandbox arranged by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority. Meanwhile, HSBC partnered with Metaco, a Ripple-owned tech firm, on Nov. 8 to hold tokenized securities on its new custody platform. 

Interest from major financial companies shows that the potential of DLT is slowly overtaking the previous skepticism surrounding it. Cited in a Bloomberg report, Sandy Kaul, an executive at asset manager Franklin Templeton, said that the “adoption of the technology is actually accelerating very quickly.” Kaul noted that a “pathway” to re-engineering the global financial markets can be seen for the first time. 

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Franklin Templeton is one of the many asset managers vying for a Bitcoin ETF. On Sept. 12, the firm applied for a spot Bitcoin ETF with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Related: US corporate interest in crypto strong despite implementation hurdles

While others make big moves into blockchain, some choose to stay small and build into it. Alex Holmes, the CEO of MoneyGram, also said in an interview with Bloomberg that only about 20 of their employees are dedicated to their blockchain efforts full-time. “It’s somewhat proportional to the expectations around some of the revenue and profitability,” he said.

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