What’s Going On?
Santander marked another fintech first this week when it claimed to be the world’s first company to use blockchain to help investors vote at an annual general meeting.
Why Does It Matter?
Europe’s biggest bank by market cap said it had completed a test with tech partner Broadridge Financial Solutions at Santander’s annual meeting in March, reported the Financial Times.
Built by Santander’s in-house blockchain lab using JP Morgan’s open source Quorum platform, the pilot accounted for one in five institutional votes during the AGM, reported Finextra.
How Does Blockchain Voting Work
The FT explained voting took place by traditional methods, but a blockchain was employed to generate a “shadow register”. The bank said this could spell fundamental changes for global corporate democracy; Santander investors currently have to vote two weeks before a meeting to allow time for their vote to be counted.
Some critics claim votes can be lost under the old system, while others say investors outside their home market find it difficult to vote. Santander told reporters the use of blockchain would shake up the process at AGMs, making it easier for shareholders to take part.
Last month we reported Santander launched One Pay FX, a foreign exchange service that uses blockchain technology to make same-day international money transfers.