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IBM Japan, Mizuho Financial Group, Mizuho Bank create blockchain-based trade financial platform

Japanese banking company Mizuho Financial Group, along with Mizuho Bank and IBM Japan announced that they are building a trade financial platform using blockchain technology.

The announcement stated that by digitizing trade information on blockchain will help in changing the way information is shared. It inculcates greater trust into transactions to make it easier for parties those who are involved in the supply chain including exporters and importers, shippers, port operators, among others, to share critical shipment data in near real-time.

With the blockchain-based trade financial platform, Mizuho aims to simplify trading operations and advance supply chain efficiency.

"We are pleased to be the market leader in Japan in powering our processes and workflows with distributed ledger technology and continue to work aggressively towards expanding our portfolio of its implementations across the group. The global expertise in digital technology of IBM complements our vision and has opened further avenues for us to tap the potential of distributed ledger in transforming our processes and workflows for better enterprise agility, transparency and regulatory reporting,” Daisuke Yamada, Managing Executive officer and Chief Digital Innovation Officer of Mizuho Financial Group, said.

Working along with IBM Japan, the collaboration will perform real-time trade transactions based on Hyperledger Fabric, which is the blockchain framework implementation and one of the Hyperledger Projects.

The blockchain project will exchange digitized letters of credit for actual trade transactions between Japan and global clients. This will be digitally shared among parties and is expected to ease the associated document creation and exchange processes. With the system, all parties can view the latest shipment status data that will result in less trade transaction and processing data.

“The Mizuho Financial Group and Mizuho Bank's project marks an important step in using blockchain technology for actual operations in trade finance,” Masao Sanbe, Managing Director, Industry Sales, IBM Japan, stated. “In working with global trade networks to digitize documentation and processes, IBM recognizes the potential of blockchain to help streamline financial trade services.”

The blockchain project’s first phase will allow Mizuho to conduct actual trade transactions in June 2017 that will advance the trade financial platform for commercialization.

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