Hedera makes inroads in Africa as Standard Bank Group becomes node operator


Standard Bank Group – Africa’s largest bank by asset – has partnered with the Hedera Hashgraph distributed ledger technology project for enterprise.

According to a joint announcement, the African banking giant is now joining other large companies such as Google, LG and IBM as a member of the Hedera Governing Council.

Standard Bank will also become a Hedera node operator, the first in Africa to focus on using DLT to remove bottlenecks in cross-border trade across the continent.

Throughout Africa, innovations in domestic payment rails have created faster and more efficient transaction systems. However, this progress has yet to be carried over to the cross-border payments scene, where already stable coins have the potential to solve these problems.

For Ian Putter, Head of DLT and Blockchain at Standard Bank Group, the partnership with Hedera is part of the bank’s focus on using decentralized technologies to improve cross-border trade in Africa.

Putter told Cointelegraph that the bank sees DLT as a viable base to support cross-border assistance in Africa, and also connects the continent with partners in key markets such as China.

“We have finished [proofs of concept] have solutions in production and work with these parties to scale and leverage these cross-border trading solutions. A major focus for us is to continue researching and experimenting with this technology as it evolves rapidly through partnerships and leveraging existing solutions to accelerate implementation and scaling. “

Putter highlighted the growing interest in central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) as an indication of the potential of DLT-based technology to disrupt the global business process.

According to Mance Harmon, CEO of Hedera, Africa is poised to take a leadership role in DLT usage, explaining to Cointelegraph:

“With services like M-Pesa already in widespread use, we see the willingness of African companies to leverage new technologies like blockchain and distributed ledger technology to meet the changing needs of their customers. In addition to financial services / DeFi, we also see a strong interest from companies in the region in using DLT for use cases in the areas of healthcare, energy management, identity and supply chains. “