Commerzbank AG: Why Use One Blockchain Platform When You Can Use Five?

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Commerzbank AG: Why Use One Blockchain Platform When You Can Use Five?

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Commerzbank AG, one of Germany’s largest financial institutions, is using blockchain for five different protocols in order to utilize the technology’s interconnectivity.

Over the past few years, Commerzbank has joined five consortia, culminating in the announcement of its latest project with the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA) this week.

Prior to Commerzbank’s latest move, the bank already had MultiChain, BigChainDB, Hyperledger and R3 added to its list of platforms as it sought its own unique collaborative approach to utilizing blockchain. As Paul Kammerer, co-founder of Commerzbank’s blockchain lab explained:

“We strongly believe that there will be not one blockchain solution, there will be a lot of blockchains – the big challenge is that these blockchains talk to each other.”

Commerzbank prides itself in being one of the largest traders in the European market and looks to further expand its expertise in fintech. But by also keeping its own platform development in-house and increasing its staff numbers over a few years from 5 to 23, the bank claims that it is keeping its “own skin in the game”.

The bank doesn’t regard the multi-platform approach in any way shape or form as a dilution of effort but more “future proofing” its investment. “There is not one silver bullet blockchain that is good for all future use cases… We think of a specific use case and go for the best blockchain for that,” suggested Kammerer.

The bank clearly wants to spread its web wider, hoping that the technologies it embraces will connect it with enterprises across different sectors in the future; a deciding factor in Commerzbank’s latest alliance with EEA.

Regarding CBDCs, Jörg Hessenmüller, head of development and strategy for Commerzbank, believes that bank digital currency in some form will be a likely outcome, in his view essentially making blockchains universally more useful:

“We need to find a solution that includes money transfer in the ledger, backed and controlled by central banks. This will not happen tomorrow – but several central banks are seriously investigating this topic, and it could be one of the game changers.”


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