IBM has announced a new collaboration with blockchain-based trade finance platform, we.trade to enhance network capabilities and accelerate the global growth of the platform. We.trade was designed to connect buyers, sellers, banks, insurers, and other organizations in a network, simplifying cross-border trading.
We.trade is backed by a group of banks, including Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Rabobank, Santander, UBS, Société Générale, and a few others. As one of the largest blockchain-enabled trade networks in the world, the blockchain platform first aimed to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Europe to get better access to trade finance. With the new partnership with IBM, we.trade is looking to scale globally as it is expanding in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
Built on the latest version of the IBM Blockchain Platform, IBM has been the platform’s technology partner since the beginning. We.trade was also the first enterprise blockchain consortium to go live back in early 2018.
We.trade automates trade finance processes, including providing traders with access to insurance, credit rating, and logistics services. Jason Kelly, General Manager of Blockchain Services at IBM said, “The strategic direction for we.trade and IBM is focused on driving growth and transparency across the entire trade ecosystem, collaborating to enhance the network effect of blockchain, and expanding access to trade finance and other services to the market place.”
IBM also takes a 7 percent stake in we.trade, amongst the 12 existing shareholders: CaixaBank, Deutsche Bank, Erste Group, HSBC, KBC, Nordea, Rabobank, Santander, Société Générale, UBS, and UniCredit.
During the last few months, with the emergence of the coronavirus pandemic, we.trade has observed the trend of removing paper-heavy processes in trade finance. With a digitized solution, improving access to trade finance will be essential to post-pandemic economic recovery.
“No other distributed ledger-based platform for trade has moved so rapidly to deliver value for member organizations and their customers,” said Ciaran McGowan, CEO of we.trade. “The enthusiasm for this platform underscores the need to continue to invest and expand access to a growing number of organizations.”
HSBC became the first bank to finance transaction via we.trade
The Global Trade Review reported that HSBC financed a transaction on the we.trade platform within the second round of pilots that started in June of 2019. The transaction took place between HSBC’s client Beeswift, which was a company that produces protective equipment and their sale to a company in the Netherlands banked by Rabobank.
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