HSBC moves Corda enterprise blockchain technology to Google Cloud


HSBC has become the first financial institution to move Corda Enterprise onto Google Cloud, promising reduced client onboarding times and costs.

The bank uses Corda, from R3, for its custody blockchain platform, Digital Vault. The service, launched in November 2019, digitises the transaction records of private placement assets, from equity, to debt, and real estate.

Moving to Google Cloud, HSBC noted, will enable the company to move more of the ‘transaction lifecycle’ onto the ledger in future, including the issuing of digital tokens instead of paper certificates.

“Being the first organisation to move Corda technology to Google Cloud is a further sign of HSBC’s commitment to blockchain and cloud technologies,” said Gaurav Aggarwal, HSBC head of distributed ledger technology and tokenisation, markets and securities services in a statement.

Derek White, VP global financial services at Google Cloud, added: “As HSBC prepares for the future of banking, we are proud to provide the speed, scale and security of the best cloud technology to connect consumers, businesses and ecosystems in new innovations.”

HSBC has had a long history with both R3 Corda and Google Cloud. As far back as May 2018, the bank was hailing a ‘groundbreaking live trade finance transaction’ on the Corda platform, facilitating a bulk shipment for food conglomerate Cargill. This time last year, the company announced it had put $10 billion of paper-based private placement records on Corda.

With Google Cloud, HSBC has long since been a flagship customer. The company’s presence at Next 2017, alongside Colgate and Verizon, helped signal Google Cloud’s enterprise ambitions to the wider market. In July, HSBC reached a ‘long-term strategic cloud agreement’ with Amazon Web Services (AWS), though CloudTech understood at the time the bank’s relationship with Google Cloud remained.

HSBC has also committed to a cloud roadmap by virtue of its relationship with CloudBees. The bank invested $10 million in capital investment to the CD software provider and Jenkins arbiter in 2019.

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