Friday, 17 August, 2018

HSBC finalizes landmark trade finance transaction on blockchain

AP  Andre Penner AP Andre Penner
Orlando Vargas | 15 May, 2018, 14:54

HSBC and ING Bank have successfully executed the first scalable live trade finance transaction using blockchain for Cargill, an worldwide food and agriculture conglomerate. Last week, a shipment of soybean from Argentina to Malaysia was supported by the letter of credit.

The transaction was the first time that a blockchain - the technology which powers cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin - has been used for a commercial trade finance settlement.

Vivek Ramachandran, the head of innovation at HSBC Global described the successful blockchain transaction as an inflection point for trade.

The transaction was executed within a record time of 24 hours, compared to the standard period of five to 10 days.

HSBC handled the deal for U.S. food and agricultural group Cargill, in partnership with Dutch ING Bank NV.

HSBC and ING said the technology is "perfect" for trade because it keeps an unchangeable log of the transaction and details of the products being bought or sold. An email statement revealed that the R3 consortium created the blockchain technology used to facilitate the trade deal.

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David E. Rutter, CEO of R3, added, "This transaction represents another major milestone for Corda as we work with the industry to make enterprise blockchain a reality in trade finance". Speaking further, he said that "With blockchain, the need for paper reconciliation is removed because all parties are linked on the platform and updates are instantaneous".

According to the United Nations, digitizing all of the Asia-Pacific region's trade-related paperwork could slash the time it takes to export goods by up to 44%, cutting costs by up to 31% and boosting exports by as much as $257 billion a year.

ING has also been heavily involved in the trade-based developments on blockchain technology.

The announcement is excellent news not only for the bank but also for the companies involved in global trade finance.

Banking giants HSBC and ING on Monday said they had carried out a landmark blockchain transaction aimed at speeding up payment processes and making them more secure.

Ramachandran said that HSBC already has its next client lined up the next transaction.

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