May 14, 2018

HSBC claims first trade-finance deal with blockchain

HSBC has completed the world's first commercially viable trade-finance transaction using blockchain, opening the door to mass adoption of the technology in the $9tn market for trade finance. HSBC used the Corda blockchain platform, which was developed by technology consortium R3. Dutch bank ING, which has also adopted the technology, was a counterparty on the deal. He likened the advent of blockchain trade finance to the usage of standardised shipping containers, which were slowly adopted by ships, ports, railways and trade companies over several decades to eventually become the primary mode for global shipping. In much the same respect, counterparties to trade finance - such as banks, ports and traders - must all adopt common platforms and standards for blockchain trade finance, something that Mr Ramachandran says will play out over the next five years. A number of banks and companies over the past year have experimented with platforms for fully digital processing of trade documents, and some have launched pilots for live trade transactions.

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