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Banking Relations

Blockchain Disruption for Custody Banks? Not So Fast

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September 11, 2019

BankingBlockchain or distributed ledger technology likely won't disrupt franchise values at US trust and processing banks or their trade settlement and asset custody businesses, according to Fitch Ratings.

That's because once banks factor in the network security, regulatory and implementation challenges of the technology, the "purported efficiencies of DLT in trade settlement" and other functions begin to fade.

Still, says Fitch, aspects of blockchain technology could make their way into the business via smaller scale applications, "most likely involving trusted counterparties as part of a centralized ledger."

But for now, Fitch says, DLT is just not as fast as current methods for, say, credit card processing. The most advanced blockchains can process at most five to eight transactions per second, while credit card networks like Visa can handle over 65,000 transactions per second.

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