Marie Wieck, IBM Blockchain
New York - IBM has been selected by a consortium of seven of Europe's largest banks to build and host a new trade finance platform based on IBM Blockchain powered by Hyperledger Fabric. The platform aims to simplify and facilitate domestic and cross-border trade for small and medium enterprises in Europe, while helping to increase overall trade transaction transparency.
IBM was selected by the Digital Trade Chain Consortium which consists of Deutsche Bank, HSBC, KBC, Natixis, Rabobank, Societe Generale and Unicredit.
The Digital Trade Chain solution will run in the IBM Cloud and is designed to connect the parties involved in a trade transaction, both online and via mobile devices. It is designed to simplify trade finance processes by addressing the challenge of managing, tracking and securing domestic and international trade transactions.
By addressing the financing gap of small and medium enterprises (SME) - a traditionally underserved market segment - the solution aims to help open new revenue streams and initiate new trading relationships and foster trade growth.
With the Digital Trade Chain, SMEs will have access to a platform that provides a consolidated view of trade transactions. This in turn helps promote accountability in transactions, gain access to capital and contributes to reducing some risk. The Digital Trade Chain also optimizes some administrative tasks for SME customers by digitizing the entire supply chain process from order to settlement, and allows trading partners to track and trace transactions as they are processed.
"In working with hundreds of clients around the world on a diverse range of blockchain projects, trade finance has emerged as one of the strongest use cases for the technology," said Marie Wieck, general manager, IBM Blockchain. "By addressing the SME market, which faces challenges in data sharing and access to capital, the Digital Trade Chain Consortium is pioneering a unique blockchain solution with the potential for widespread impact."
The Digital Trade Chain network will be built on Hyperledger Fabric v1.0.0, an open source blockchain framework and one of the five Hyperledger projects hosted by The Linux Foundation, and hosted on the IBM Cloud. The Digital Trade Chain is expected to go into production by end of 2017.