Santander assesses crypto exposure with blockchain analytics

Santander assesses crypto exposure with blockchain analytics

By Alice Leetham - min read
Image of a branch of Santander bank

The bank completed a pilot with crypto asset risk management firm Elliptic to flag suspicious crypto activity

Blockchain analytics and compliance solutions firm Elliptic announced yesterday that it had been working with Santander to help the bank to understand the risks associated with digital assets. Yesterday saw the conclusion of a pilot in which Elliptic helped Santander identify suspicious activity connected with cryptocurrency.

Santander appears to be one of the more blockchain-friendly banks, having published educational material on cryptocurrencies for its customers. Last year, Santander became the first UK bank to use Ripple to develop a real-time cross-border payments system.

Elliptic, which in 2016 received investment from the Santander-backed fintech-focused venture capital firm Mouro Capital, deployed its Discovery solution to detect transactions between Santander customers and cryptocurrency exchanges. The software analyses these transactions in order to evaluate Santander’s indirect exposure to digital assets.

CEO of Elliptic, Simone Maini, commented, “This pilot demonstrates Elliptic’s commitment to helping financial institutions understand their exposure to crypto assets and mitigate crypto anti-money laundering risks. This successful exercise is clear evidence that working with Elliptic enables leading organisations to navigate the rapidly-evolving crypto ecosystem with confidence.”

Elliptic’s Discovery was developed with the collaboration of financial institutions to support their growing crypto needs. It can identify business opportunities by detecting legitimate crypto entities, as well as flagging illicit crypto activity.

Discovery carries out counterparty risk assessments on cryptocurrency exchanges through the use of advanced blockchain analytics and has the most comprehensive virtual asset service provider (VASP) coverage, with risk profiles for more than 200 of the world’s largest VASPs.

The solution covers 97% of crypto transactions by trading volume and was built using an extensive dataset with over 10 billion data points. Discovery gives each VASP an Elliptic score which provides a risk metric.

General Partner at Mouro Capital, Manuel Silva Martinez, added, “Elliptic is one of our oldest investments, and they have been a great partner at helping us navigate the complexities of the distributed ledger technology (DLT) and crypto world. We are excited to see Elliptic’s technology in collaboration with Santander to better understand and protect the bank’s business and customers.”