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Royal Bank of Canada Might Not Be Pursuing a Crypto Exchange, But It Ranks Among Enterprise Blockchain Leaders

It had been reported that The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) –– the country’s largest bank at more than $965 billion in total assets –– might launch a cryptocurrency trading platform. But, those reports turned out to not be true. With that said, according to Forbes, RBC is leading in enterprise blockchain research.

“Like many other organizations, files patent applications to ensure proprietary ideas and concepts are protected,” RBC spokesperson Jean Francois had told The Logic, before CoinDesk published an update clarifying that RBC had no plans to launch an exchange.

But, bank spokesperson Ed Jones negated reports that Canada’s largest bank was looking into the development of a crypto exchange, telling CoinDesk that none of the many patents the bank received for blockchain projects indicated they were building an exchange.

“While RBC does not comment on ongoing proprietary research and development, we can confirm that these patent filings are not in support of work towards a cryptocurrency exchange for clients,” the spokesperson said. “RBC has no near-term plans to launch a cryptocurrency exchange for clients.”

RBC is not the first bank to file blockchain-related patent applications, and many banks are working in organizations, such as Hyperledger, R3, and others on distributed ledger related projects.

“RBC, like many other organizations, files patent applications to ensure proprietary ideas and concepts are protected,” said Jones.

One RBC patent reads: “To individual users, managing cryptographic keys and transacting with different cryptographic assets can be a challenge. In some situations, cryptographic asset transactions may take time to be confirmed, and/or may not be compatible or supported by merchant systems or point-of-sale devices.”

RBC has launched blockchain-related loyalty points and digital identity and two pain-points RBC has tested in collaboration with other startups and consortia.

“We see loyalty as a great use case for blockchain to allow us to provide customers more real-time access to rewards points to provide an almost Starbucks-like experience,” said Eddy Ortiz, vp of solution acceleration and innovation. “It benefits us internally to be more efficient in some of our processes, but that efficiency can directly translate to something the consumer sees.”

He added: “It is hard to argue that consumer-facing blockchain-based applications like loyalty programs are going to move the needle for clients more effectively in the near term than a new biometric authentication technology or chatbot. Innovation departments need to show they’re being responsible stewards with their funds because they are competing for the money with other departments within their firms year after year.

Our learning has been about how we use the technology contractually with other technologies to still benefit from the blockchain use but also allow us to make client lives easier. We have evolved significantly.”

A Forbes analysis of the largest public companies in the world demonstrates the Royal Bank of Canada sitting at 25th, in terms of sales volume, amongst leaders exploring blockchain technology. American Express was listed #1 in that list.

An analysis of the largest public companies in the world shows the Royal Bank of Canada sitting at 25th, by sales volume, of those utilizing or seriously exploring blockchain technology.

The Forbes Global 2000 list of the biggest businesses was refined to the top 50 who are known to be investigating blockchain use cases and applications.

The recent report sees American Express in first position and the Royal Bank of Canada featuring strongly with its sales volume and recent blockchain-related activities.

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