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Blockchain is ‘Almost a Must’ for Business, says UBS CEO.

Swiss financial services giant UBS Group is not betting the ranch on bitcoin as of now, but Sergio Ermotti CEO of UBS Group AG praised blockchain in an interview, suggesting that it is “almost a must” for business.

Ermotti told CNBC Monday that Blockchain, the technology that underpins cryptocurrencies, can help business become more efficient by reducing certain operations costs. He noted blockchain potential to help companies free up resources significantly.

In an interview, Ermotti told CNBC’s Michelle Caruso-Cabrera that “It’s almost a must. 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,”.

UBS is a member of Batavia consortium, a global trade finance platform based on blockchain and built on the IBM Blockchain Platform along with  Bank of Montreal (BMO), CaixaBank, Commerzbank and Erste Group — and IBM as an equal member to the banks.

During the interview, Ermotti noted that the blockchain tech “will be as crucial and disruptive, and changing as regulation was in the last ten years.”

The UBS CEO further added that “the focus is on the future, observing that transforming the cost base of the industry won’t happen “tomorrow.” Instead, he’s looking five to 10 years out.”

However, the Swiss financial services giant has remained skeptical about digital currencies.  UBS chairman Axel Weber who has been an ardent critic of bitcoin stated earlier this month that UBS will not offer its customers trading services in cryptocurrencies.  The bank chair even called for more stringent controls on bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies, saying that  “[cryptocurrencies] are often not transparent and, therefore, open to being abused.”


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