IBM joins 12 banks backing blockchain platform We.Trade
IBM has joined 12 banks, including UBS, Deutsche Bank, and HSBC, in backing blockchain-based platform We.Trade, which brands itself as “a digital one stop shop” for supply chain trade.
The new shareholder is also entering into a strategic partnership with the Irish fintech to enhance the platform’s network and accelerate its global commercialisation.
We.Trade is based on Hyperledger, and like other networks based on Ethereum or Symbiont, the blockchain technology allows companies to share transactions made and verify each other during a trade.
The fintech wants to connect small and medium businesses to banks, by streamlining traditionally paper-based transaction tasks such as letters of credit and the financing for cross-border and international trade.
The company also offers traders access to insurance, credit rating, financing and logistics services, and the network itself can be used as a search engine for new partners.
From July 2020, We.Trade will look to extend its services to more European banks, before expanding its presence in Asia. The fintech already interoperates with Hong Kong-based eTradeConnect, a blockchain-based trade finance platform which was formed by 12 Asian banks including HSBC and Standard Chartered.
“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,” says IBM’s blockchain services general manager, Jason Kelley.
“Innovative technology and new pricing structures will help more banks align to internal production controls using their choice of cloud services. Meanwhile We.Trade aims to help banks create new trusted trade corridors and expand markets by interconnecting with other regional trade services platforms.”
Built on the latest version IBM’s ‘Blockchain Platform’, We.Trade is also backed by CaixaBank, Erste Group, KBC, Nordea, Rabobank, Santander, Société Générale, and UniCredit.