UPDATED 13:27 EDT / MAY 21 2020

book-731199_1280 BLOCKCHAIN

We.trade partners with IBM to expand its blockchain trade platform globally

Blockchain-based distributed ledger blockchain trade finance platform we.trade today announced it has inked a deal with IBM Corp. to join we.trade’s bank shareholders and enhance its service as part of an upcoming global expansion.

The we.trade platform is one of the largest blockchain-enabled trade networks that connect businesses and banks in a way that’s designed to improve the trade finance lending process. The company intends to replace complex and error-prone paper processes involving the trade of goods and money between businesses with a trustworthy system.

Using we.trade’s platform, businesses gain access to a cryptographically protected distributed ledger that can track and confirm orders, secure financing and provide access to insurance, credit rating and logistics services.

The blockchain used by we.trade automates and secures agreements between businesses and banks using smart contracts that produce an auditable record of transactions. This technology can keep sensitive information protected, while still allowing third parties to show that agreements were executed.

For example, a textile manufacturer could ink a deal with a clothing maker for a shipment of bolts of cloth. The we.trade platform would digitize that deal between the two participants, including conditions such as payment and delivery. The deal, and all transactions related to it, would then be recorded to we.trade’s blockchain, which can be viewed by anyone with the proper permissions.

All participants in the deal – from the businesses involved, the banks providing financing and others – can also be certain that the information remains unchanged after it is submitted. Once recorded to the blockchain, transaction information is indelible and cannot be changed, thus it can be trusted to be truthful.

Built on the newest version of the IBM Blockchain Platform, we.trade uses the industry-leading Hyperledger Fabric to record and execute those transactions. IBM’s platform is globe-spanning and provides high transaction speed and critical infrastructure anywhere in the world. It is used by numerous businesses to secure transactions including highly regulated financial concerns and supply chain networks.

“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,” said Jason Kelley, general manager of blockchain services at IBM.

As part of the deal, IBM will become a new shareholder amid 12 existing bank shareholders including CaixaBank, Deutsche Bank, Erste Group, HSBC, KBC, Nordea, Rabobank, Santander, Société Générale, UBS and UniCredit.

Starting in July 2020, we.trade intends to expand its operations to additional banks and clients across Europe before extending its outreach globally, starting with Asia.

The company has already completed work with Hong Kong-based eTradeConnect, a blockchain-based trade finance platform formed by 12 Asian banks. This proof of concept involving we.trade’s platform has given structure and vision for future collaborations with other networks.

“No other distributed-ledger based platform for trade has moved so rapidly to deliver value for member organizations and their customers,” said Ciaran McGowan, chief executive of we.trade. “The enthusiasm for this platform underscores the need to continue to invest and expand access to a growing number of organizations.”

Photo: Pixabay

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