The Italian Banking Association (ABI) announced that as of October 2020, more than 100 banks under its umbrella are now using the Spunta blockchain.
ABI said that 18 banks and banking groups govern the project. This represents up to 78% of the banking world in terms of the number of employees. Spunta member banks include some of the biggest names in Italian banking — Intesa Sanpaolo, UniCredit, Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, and more.
This new fintech endeavor has allowed the banks to switch from the traditional banking method of exchanging phone calls and messages to the modernized blockchain-based system.
Aside from this, the Spunta blockchain allows the system to verify the correspondence of any interbank activities. The system will be able to detect any transaction mismatch and provide better communication and coordination among all members. Transactions are also faster and more transparent.
R3 Corda’s network operates the Spunta blockchain. Launched in March 2020, the addition of banks came in different batches. ABI estimates that Spunta could process 8.4 billion complex transactions at its full capacity. In contrast, the Bitcoin blockchain was only able to handle 117 million transactions last year.
According to ABI, this is one crucial step in the creation of the digital Euro. With over a hundred banks accessing the blockchain every day, they can start participating in projects and experiments. Since creating central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) “may require experimentation” to streamline their implementation, which ABI calls a “European-level initiative”.
Meanwhile, China is said to be leading the CBDC race, as it has already tested its digital yuan by holding a 10-million yuan giveaway in the country’s Luohu district of Shenzhen.