KBC has developed a blockchain application for managing, tracking and protecting domestic and international trade transactions between SMEs.
The Belgian bank has worked with IT outfit Cegeka to develop the Digital Trade Chain application, which is based on a 'permissioned' blockchain with smart contracts.
DTC links all parties to a transaction - buyer, seller, KBC and the counterparty's bank - and registers the entire trade process from order to payment, displaying it in an at-a-glance flowchart and guaranteeing payment when all contractual agreements have been met.
The app has been assessed by 17 SMEs in different sectors and then tested by Bru Textiles and Aristide, two textile companies in Kontich. KBC says it is currently in talks with banks in neighbouring EU countries - the primary marketplace for 77% of Belgian exports - to roll out the service more widely.
Luc Gijsens, KBC group international markets CEO, says: "SMEs are having to run their businesses differently in an increasingly digital age. KBC aims to give them innovative solutions to gear up to an increasingly digital environment. This successful DTC trial shows that blockchain technology offers a number of opportunities that we want to continue testing and developing."