UBS Group bets big on future of blockchain

UBS Group CEO Sergio Ermotti has told CNBC he believes blockchain is "definitely an opportunity" in the long-term and "it's almost a must” for all businesses around the world.

Ermotti adds that, “The freeing up of resources to become more efficient will come through technology and blockchain is a great way to allow us to reduce costs. Our industry will continue to be under pressure, in terms of gross margins.”

The Swiss financial services giant has partnered with other banks and IBM to experiment with a blockchain-based global trade finance platform called Batavia. In April, UBS conducted its first live cross-border transactions with corporate clients.

Ermotti also predicts that transforming the cost base of the industry will happen in five to 10 years and states that he believes blockchain technology “will be as crucial and disruptive, and changing as regulation was in the last 10 years.”

In October, during another interview with CNBC, Ermotti said he was far more bullish on blockchain than he was about cryptocurrencies and warned that Bitcoin was trapped inside a “speculative bubble.”

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author should not be considered as financial advice. We do not give advice on financial products.

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