Seven of Europe’s largest banks have selected IBM to build and host a new trade finance platform using Big Blue's Hyperledger Fabric.
The Digital Trade Chain Consortium, which consists of Deutsche Bank, HSBC, KBC, Natixis, Rabobank, Societe Generale and Unicredit, was formed earlier this year to meet the financing gaps hampering domestic and cross-border trade for small and medium enterprises in Europe, while helping to increase overall trade transaction transparency.
The consortium started in January 2017 with seven European banks and is expected to grow to include additional banks from other countries and as well as trading partners such as shippers, freight forwarders and credit agencies.
IBM won the contract to provide the cloud-based platform in a competitive bidding process. It will address the challenge of managing, tracking and securing domestic and international trade transactions by connecting all parties both online and via mobile devices.
“To make the Digital Trade Chain network a reality and enable it to serve potentially thousands of the consortium’s banking clients, we turned to IBM in enterprise blockchain to help us quickly bring this highly scalable system into production,” says Rudi Peeters, CIO, KBC on behalf of the Consortium. “Their blockchain and banking industry expertise will help us create a new platform for small and medium businesses in Europe that can enable them for faster, easier and cheaper trade transactions.”
The DTC network will be built on Hyperledger Fabric v1.0.0 and is expected to go into production by end of 2017.
Separately, IBM has announced that it is working with Aeon Financial Service to build a blockchain-based financial platform to provide settlement and transactions for both consumers and enterprises in Japan and throughout Asia, including virtual currency payments between individuals and businesses, loyalty points allocation and redemption, and transaction data management.
Aeon Financial Service, a group of the largest retail companies in Japan, provides a range of financial services including banking, credit and micro-finance to customers in Japan and 11 other countries across Asia.
“Based on settlements and transactions, Aeon Financial Service is working to build a platform that will offer various financial services such as virtual currency payments and loyalty points exchange and redemption not only to customers in Japan but also throughout Asia,” says Masaaki Mangetsu, managing director, global business strategy, Aeon Financial Service. “We foresee great opportunities in using blockchain to build this platform, and will aim to use it to improve our current financial services offerings, as well as offering new services to underserved customers in Asian countries.”