Chinese fintech giant Ant Group has unveiled Trusple, a blockchain-powered global trade and financial services platform.
Ant says the platform will make it easier and cheaper for firms, especially SMEs, to sell their wares around the world while also reducing costs for financial institutions.
Trusple - a contraction of 'trust made simple' - works by generating a smart contract once a buyer and a seller upload a trading order on the platform. As the order is executed, the smart contract is automatically updated with key information, such as order placements, logistics, and tax refund options.
Using the firm's AntChain blockchain technology, the buyer’s and seller’s banks automatically process the payment settlements through the smart contract.
Ant says the automated process takes out the time-consuming processes that banks traditionally conduct to track and verify trading orders, while also ensuring that the information is tamper-proof. Successful transactions on Trusple also enable SMEs to build their creditworthiness on AntChain, making it easier for them to obtain financing services.
Ant has lined up several global banks, including BNP Paribas, Citi, DBS, Deutsche Bank and Standard Chartered, as partners for the platform.
Guofei Jiang, president, advanced technology business group, Ant, says: "Just like when Alipay was introduced in 2004 as the online escrow payment solution to build trust between buyers and sellers, with the launch of AntChain-powered Trusple, we look forward to making cross-border trading safer, more reliable, and more efficient for buyers and sellers, as well as for the financial institutions that serve them."
The Trusple launch comes as Ant gears up to list in Hong Kong and Shanghai in what could be the world's largest IPO, raising $35 billion at a $350 billion valuation.