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Nordea joins blockchain trade finance consortium ‘we.trade’

Scandinavian banking giant Nordea has joined a recently launched blockchain consortium we.trade as a founding partner.

Officially launched in October 2017, we.trade is an initiative by a group of banks including Deutsche Bank, HSBC, KBC, Natixis, Rabobank, Societe Generale and UniCredit, in collaboration with IBM. Banco Santander also joined the consortium as a founding partner.

Since early 2017, the consortium has been working on Digital Trade Chain platform aimed at simplifying domestic and cross-border commerce for European companies by leveraging distributed ledger technology (DLT). Eventually, the members decided to rebrand the platform and named it ‘we.trade’.

The we.trade platform will facilitate secure international trade between SMEs, seamlessly connecting different parties involved in a trade transaction – buyer, buyer’s bank, seller, seller’s bank, and transporter. The platform will be accessible 24/7 from any connected device.

In its official release, Nordea said that it plans to roll out the we.trade platform to its customers across the Nordics. By doing so, it will become the first bank in the region to deliver a customer-facing trade solution based on DLT.

“In the current broad landscape of blockchain technology based initiatives in trade finance we see we.trade as a standout in its focus and realistic execution strategy. We’re looking forward to providing a Nordic perspective to the future of trade finance,” Ville Sointu, Head of DLT & Blockchain at Nordea, said.

The commercialisation of the platform is anticipated in the second quarter of 2018. Prior to this, the platform is expected to be rolled out to test customers of the founding banks.

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