A couple of updates from HSBC have hit the wires: the bank has moved to tokenise ownership of physical gold through blockchain technology, as well as trialling tokenised deposits to enable corporate clients to move money across multiple accounts.
The tokenisation of gold in the bank’s London vault will see a digital twin created of an existing asset. Each token represents 0.001 troy ounce and can be traded on trading platform HSBC Evolve. Mark Williamson, global head of FX and commodities partnerships and propositions, confirmed the launch of the platform in a Bloomberg interview.
This is not the first instance of a bank tokenising gold as a digital asset. Sber, Russia’s largest bank, announced in December that its distributed ledger platform had seen the first issue of gold-backed digital financial assets. Yet this move from a major bank will certainly be of interest. While institutional investors will be the primary target for now, the bank noted there is a possibility of investment from retail investors.
Elsewhere, HSBC has tested the use of tokenised deposits with Ant Group in order to enable always-on, real-time treasury fund movement between accounts held within the HSBC network. During the test, HSBC was connected to Ant Group’s blockchain platform. The test was conducted under the Hong Kong Monetary Authority’s Fintech Supervisory Sandbox.
As reported by multiple outlets, the bank noted how this test could lead to future research into how blockchain and tokenisation can improve the efficiency of corporate treasury management.
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