The CEO of Swiss financial services giant UBS Group AG endorsed blockchain technology in an interview, suggesting that it is “almost a must” for business.
Sergio Ermotti told CNBC Monday that the technology can help companies become more efficient, thereby reducing costs for certain operations. In general, technology will help firms free up resources, but blockchain in particular “is a great way” to increase those efficiencies.
“Our industry will continue to be under pressure, in terms of gross margins. It’s no doubt. The only way you can stay relevant is not only by being strong in terms of capital, in terms of products, the quality of the people you have, advice you give to clients. You need also to be able to price it correctly.”
During the interview, Ermotti said that the blockchain technology “will be as crucial and disruptive, and changing as regulation was in the last 10 years.”
This is not the first time Ermotti has praised blockchain technology without similarly praising cryptocurrencies. During another interview with CNBC in October, he said he was far more bullish on blockchain than he was about cryptocurrencies specifically.
His comments echoed those of UBS chief investment officer Mark Haefele, who referred to bitcoin as being risky last year, as previously reported by CoinDesk.
Putting action to words, UBS is currently backing a blockchain-based trade finance platform, Batavia, in partnership with IBM. CoinDesk reported in April that the platform has conducted its first live cross-border transactions with corporate clients.