The secure, decentralized nature of blockchain technology presents countless applications outside of cryptocurrency, as one European bank proved in a historic first at its last annual investor meeting. Investors at future meetings could wait seconds instead of weeks to see their votes counted and confirmed.
‘Practical’ and ‘Instant’
Investors at the Madrid-based Santander bank cast their votes using blockchain at their annual general meeting (AGM) late last month, the bank announced today. Santander hailed the test as the “first practical use of blockchain for investor voting.”
Blockchain offers a decentralized, online ledger in which peers on the network verify transactions independently. Santander said they used the tech to create a “shadow digital register” so investors could see how their votes could be counted and confirmed faster.
Investors normally have to vote two weeks in advance to leave enough time to count ballots, but the process could possibly become instant thanks to the blockchain, the bank said.
Luis Antonio Perez, head of corporate services at Santander, noted:
The blockchain technology has enhanced efficiency and transparency upon the reception and vote tabulation process, which will result in bridging the gap between all in the process.
Santander is the largest bank in the Eurozone by market capitalization, with more than 4 million shareholders and 60.7 percent of its stock belonging to institutional investors. At its last AGM, the bank had a record high 64.55 percent turnout of investors and 21 percent used the new blockchain voting system.
The Financial Times reports that some investors have complained votes are frequently lost or that it’s too difficult to vote outside their home market…