IBM (NYSE: IBM) and the Blockchain Community Initiative (BCI) jointly announced that its electronic letter of guarantee (eLG) platform and network has successfully advanced and is now extending the scope and reach of its services and network to businesses of all sizes.
The advanced capabilities on the BCI blockchain platform include equipping its network with true hybrid cloud and multi-vendor capabilities, disaster recovery and multi-region high availability.
Commercial banks in Thailand manually issue guarantee letters worth billions of dollars to businesses annually as part of their guarantee process in case a buyer defaults. The negotiation between buyer, seller and bank can take up to nine days and the risk of forgery of paper documents could leave the seller without recourse.
Through Thailand Blockchain Community Initiative, now known as BCI (Thailand) Co., Ltd., 22 banks and 15 companies have joined the blockchain-based platform to support payment obligations, for enterprise auctions and other domestic trading procedures. The platform went live in late 2019 and currently handles an approximate value of US$ 300,000,000 in guarantee letters. It has proven to reduce letter of guarantee issuance time to less than a day. Some member companies report seeing a 200% reduction in transaction costs. eLG is designed to reduce the potential for errors and risk of fraud for all parties involved.
“The blockchain platform is significant to BCI as it is aligned to our roadmap of using a hybrid deployment model to grow to overseas markets in the future. The Letter of Guarantee is just the first service offering from BCI. More products will be added in the near future. The platform also sets a strong foundation for BCI to scale and expand our services offerings on top of bringing speed and efficiency to more companies,” said Silawat Santivisat, Chairman of The Board, BCI (Thailand) Co., Ltd. “Blockchain is the key enabler for multi-industry connectivity platforms. Blockchain allows businesses to rethink processes and inefficiencies, and with the right partners and technology platforms providing scalability, security and multi-cloud capabilities, these networks can grow efficiently across environments and regions.”
“The major upgrade from Hyperledger Fabric v1.1 to Hyperledger Fabric v1.4 LTS posed huge business and technical challenges, with months of preparation and tremendous effort from all 15 participating entities working closely together on improving the business processes, security, governance, compliance and technical resources. The IBM team’s strong commitment and outstanding support to BCI made this upgrade to global best practices a great success with zero downtime,” said Siriwat Keatcharoensin, President of BCI (Thailand) Co., Ltd. “With IBM Blockchain as the technology foundation, and with the innovation milestone we achieved today, we are ready to welcome new members to our eLG platform and collectively bring maximum efficiency to business transactions in Thailand.”
“IBM is proud to support BCI and its growing consortium in bringing the use of blockchain technology on the highly-secured IBM Cloud environment to address one of Thailand’s key pain points in executing financial transactions,” said Patama Chantaruck as Vice President for Indochina Expansion and Managing Director of IBM Thailand. “First developed by members of the Thai banking community with IBM Garage for Cloud in 2016, the platform has incorporated best practices in bringing both bank and non-bank ecosystem players together quickly and effectively.”
Large, medium or small companies in Thailand can easily start using BCI’s eLG services. Clients have the option to access the BCI portal through different models, including private on-premise access, via the cloud, or via a cloud broker