Mizuho to go live with DLT-based trade finance application

Mizuho to go live with DLT-based trade finance application

Mizuho Bank is preparing to conduct its first live trade financing transactions over a distributed ledger developed in association with IBM.

The project will entail the exchange of digitised letters of credit for actual trade transactions between Japan and overseas clients, with all documents created, stored and shared on a permissioned ledger between importers, exporters and their banks. The system will also enable all parties to view the latest shipment status data, which can result in reduced trade transaction and processing costs.

The progreamme is the latest blockchain experiment conducted by the Japanese financial group, which is running a multitude of tests of the technology across its operations, from financial record-keeping to client document exchange.

Daisuke Yamada, managing executive officer and chief digital innovation officer at Mizuho, describes the bank as a market leader in Japan in applying the technology to its processes and workflows.

"We continue to work aggressively towards expanding our portfolio of its implementations across the group," he says.

This first phase of the trade finance project will lead to Mizuho conducting actual trade transactions based on Hyperledger Fabric in June 2017.

Comments: (1)

Enrico Camerinelli
Enrico Camerinelli - Aite Group - Boston 30 April, 2017, 10:18Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

International banks- especially in the Far East- are traditionally strong in trade finance and want to keep a competitive lead. Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) presents indeed a way to create efficiencies and streamline processes. It is important, however, to understand how well prepared is the bank to move from document exchange (e.g., letters of credit- LCs) on the DLT to automating business processes like preparation of LCs and subsequent payment. This is something that corporate users will most likely demand after initial adoption.

LCs’ role is to reduce counterparty credit risk, especially between parties that have low level of reciprocal trust. However DLT is there exactly to ensure trust, so the question to ask is whether LCs will still be needed in a DLT environment.