Bank-to-bank Blockchain payment firsts keep coming with news that France’s BNP Paribas successfully sent multiple transactions this week.

Acting on behalf of Italian client Panini Group and Australian company Amcor, the bank sent real-time Blockchain-based payments from bank accounts located in Germany, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.

BNP wants ‘real-time cash management’

“The payments were fully processed and cleared in a few minutes highlighting the real potential of this innovative technology which eliminates delays, unexpected fees and processing errors, paving the way for real-time cash management,” Reuters quotes from a press release issued about the move.

The payments mark BNP’s Blockchain transfer debut, with the bank having been looking to experiment with the technology in other capacities for some time.

“This proof of concept will continue to demonstrate the full potential of this technology and the effective response it presents to everyday problems encountered by treasurers,” Panini Group Treasurer Fabrizio Masinelli commented.

More banks seal the deal

BNP is only two months behind a pioneering international Blockchain trade engineered by Wells Fargo and another Australian player in the form of the Commonwealth Bank.

The modest shipment of cotton worth $35,000 was sent from the US to China using Blockchain contracts which even automatically triggered payment when the goods arrived.

Prior to that, in July this year, Canadian bank ATB Financial, Ripple and tech company SAP partnered to send the world’s first interbank Blockchain payment from Canada to Germany.

’Several million times’ behind Bitcoin

Despite the progress, however, cryptocurrency commentators have remained skeptical. They note that, comparatively, banks are extremely slow to catch on, and even miss the point entirely when it comes to so-called ‘firsts’ - Bitcoin has been sending near-instant Blockchain transactions for many years already.

“You mean, the same thing Bitcoin has done several million times?” Andreas Antonopoulos commented in response to the cotton shipment.  

He subsequently commented: “Correction: Banks paid consultants thousands to do once what Bitcoin does for pennies every day, thousands of times better.”