The we.trade blockchain for trade finance initiative established by a coalition of nine banks is joining forces with three former Batavia consortium banks, extending the platform's reach to 13 European countries.
Batavia, set up by IBM and UBS in 2016 to explore the application of blockchain techonology in trade finance, welcomed Bank of Montreal (BMO), CaixaBank, Commerzbank and Erste Group to the coalition in October last year.
Three members of that group - CaixaBank, Erste Group and UBS - have now committed to we.trade as shareholders and banking partners. They join existing we.trade members Deutsche Bank, HSBC, KBC, Natixis, Nordea, Rabobank, Santander, Societe Generale and UniCredit, bringing the number of shareholders to twelve.
Operating in overlapping areas and using the same IBM-inspired technological infrastructure, the arrival of the erstwhile Batavia banks strengthens we.trade's position as the largest blockchain-based digital trade financing company in production
Powered by Hyperledger Fabric, we.trade makes use of smart contracts to improve transparency for open account trade transactions. The consortium conducted its first live transactions over the platform in June this year.
“IBM believes that the key to success with blockchain solutions lies within the strength of the network,” says Jason Kelley, general manager Blockchain Services, IBM. “We are excited to see this success as a proof point that networks will continue to grow through an evolution of coming together in complementary areas to build broader ecosystems, and in many cases a network of networks. In the innovative we.trade network there is strength in being able to securely share data within a permissioned network, banks will be able to finance supply chain processes more efficiently and with greater trust.”