Santander bank trials blockchain platform for used cars in Brazil


Major global bank Santander continues exploring the benefits of blockchain technology, with a local branch implementing blockchain for vehicle trading and car registration.

Santander Brasil has launched testing of a blockchain-based tokenization platform for transferring ownership of used cars in Brazil, Cointelegraph Brasil reported on Oct. 19.

The platform is designed to automate the process of transferring property registration by deploying smart contracts based on a delivery versus payment (DVP), a settlement method guaranteeing the ownership transfer after successful payment.

Santander’s latest vehicle registration solution is developed in partnership with Parfin, major digital custody and Web3 infrastructure provider in Latin America.

According to Parfin co-founder and chief technology officer Alex Buelau, the platform will be based on a proprietary blockchain network developed from the Ethereum blockchain. But in contrast to Ethereum, the system’s blockchain will be permissioned or private, meaning that it will not be publicly accessible.

Santander’s project is part of initiatives selected by Brazil’s central bank’s Financial Innovations Laboratory (Lift). The Lift acts as a project incubator, with one of the goals to apply the digital real, or Brazil’s central bank digital currency, which is reportedly scheduled for launch in 2024. In the meantime, Santander has already presented its demo platform to the central bank, aiming to test real transactions involving in the near future.

Jayme Chataque, open finance superintendent at Santander, suggested that the same technology could be used for selling and registering properties. “It has both convenience and security benefits for both the buyer and the seller. You turn two transactions into one,” he noted.

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Buelau reportedly pointed out that regulation is one of the few major challenges on the path to mass adoption of blockchain technology, stating:

“Technology is moving faster than regulation. […] The challenge is in regulation. But Brazil is ahead in that sense, the authorities are bold, so we may have this sooner than we thought.”

Santander Brasil is the Brazilian unit of Spain’s largest commercial bank, Banco Santander. The local bank is known for its crypto-friendly stance, with CEO Mario Leao reportedly announcing Santander Brasil’s plans to launch crypto trading earlier this year.

The global Santander bank has also been actively experimenting with blockchain technology, jointly working on tokenization infrastructure for agro commodities and issuing blockchain-based bonds. The bank is also known for its close collaboration with major crypto firm Ripple.