Standard Bank Group – Africa’s largest bank by asset size – has joined forces with Hedera Hashgraph, a distributed general ledger technology project.
The African banking giant is now joining other major companies such as Google, LG and IBM as members of Hedera’s board, according to a joint statement.
Standard Bank will also be the operator of the Hedera node, the first in Africa to focus on using DLT to eliminate bottlenecks in cross-border border trade across the continent.
Across Africa, innovations in local payment systems are creating faster and more efficient transaction systems. However, this progress has not yet become a landscape of cross-border payment transactions using stacked coins, which have already been identified as potential solutions to these problems.
For Ian Potter, head of DLT and Blockchain at Standard Bank Group, the partnership with Hedera is part of the bank’s focus on leveraging decentralized technology to improve cross-border trade in Africa.
Potter told Cointelegraph that the bank sees DLT as a viable key team to support cross-border operations in Africa and also connects the continent with partners in key markets such as China, adding:
We have completed [proof of concept], we have solutions in production, and we are working with these parties to expand the scope of these solutions and use them for cross-border trade. Our focus is on continued research and experimentation with this technology as it evolves rapidly through partnerships and leveraging existing solutions to expand and scale up. ”
Potter highlighted the growing interest in the central bank’s digital currencies, or CBDCs, as an indicator that DLT could disrupt global business processes.
According to CEO Hedera Mans Harmon, Africa is preparing to become a leader in DLT, reports Cointelegraph:
As services such as M-Pesa are already widespread, we see a willingness from African companies to take advantage of new technologies such as blockchain and distributed general ledger technology to meet changing customer needs. In addition to financial services / DeFi, we also see great interest from companies in the region to utilize DLT for health services, energy management, identity and supply chain applications. “