Author: Gan Jia Ci
A group of notable European banks announced today that they have just completed their first live testing of blockchain-based trades across borders through we.trade, their jointly developed blockchain system.
According to the announcement on the we.trade website, the 10 companies conducted trades over the past five days using blockchain technology that was facilitated by four banks. These trades will make use of blockchain technology to become the first commercially viable open account trades.
We.trade was developed by a consortium of banks – Deutsche Bank, HSBC, KBC, Natixis, Nordea, Rabobank, Santander, Societe Generale and Unicredit – to make cross-border trade more straightforward and easy for customers. So far, the consortium has been successful in meeting each bank’s internal governance and procedural requirements during the process.
COO of we.trade Roberto Mancone stated,
“The we.trade platform is a live, blockchain based trade platform. These transactions prove that we.trade is a robust and commercially viable proposition. We are delighted to have launched for the first time in the world, a blockchain based platform that enhances the overall customer experience, when trading internationally. The next step will be getting buy-in from additional banks and their customers in Europe and further afield.”
HSBC also claimed that three of its clients were able to complete open account transactions last week via we.trade within Europe.
We.trade originally planned to begin platform testing in May, followed by a commercial release during the summer.
The reason for we.trade’s fast development is that it focuses on small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) trading within Europe, Société Générale told CoinDesk.
IBM’s blockchain leader Parm Sangha stated in the official announcement,
“As we.trade has moved from pilot applications to conducting live transactions across borders, it has demonstrated the power of blockchain technology in an enterprise setting.”
Sangha added, “To convene a large network of regulated banks and demonstrate how blockchain technology can help them gain efficiencies and provide greater transparency in live transactions is a disruptive model that has the potential to reshape the future of global trade finance.”
Right now, we.trade is available in 11 European countries and will be expected to develop into other other European and global markets as the banking consortium expands.