Bank-backed blockchain trade finance platform Contour launches

Bank-backed blockchain trade finance platform Contour launches

Contour, the blockchain-based trade finance platform backed by a host of big name banks, has made its commercial launch.

Formally known as Voltron, Contour uses R3’s Corda blockchain platform for a global network designed to digitise and modernise the $18 trillion trade finance market.

The commercial launch comes after live pilots in 14 countries and a global trial with more than 50 banks and corporate which demonstrated the platform's ability to reduce the time it takes to execute the entire process of paper-based Letter of Credit from 5-10 days to under 24 hours.

The venture has set up in Singapore for the commercial launch, bringing in R3 veteran Carl Wegner as CEO and inviting banks and corporates to join its beta network.

Says Wegner: “The opportunity cost in trade finance is huge. Trillions of dollars in commodities, products and services are transacted daily, but the sector is still characterised by slow, duplicative and expensive processes.

"Contour delivers a network where trusted information is shared in real-time, effectively digitising Letters of Credit across all users in the transaction."

Set up by eight banks, including ING, BNP Paribas and HSBC in 2018, Contour has seen its ranks swell over the last two years, with Standard Chartered this week becoming the latest to invest in the network.

“Our investment into Contour underscores our commitment to forge partnerships and solve common industry challenges - taking paper out of the process while improving speed and accuracy,” says Lisa Robins, global head, transaction banking, Standard Chartered.

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