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Banking consortium executes pilot transactions on blockchain trade finance platform

A consortium consisting of Bank of Montreal (BMO), CaixaBank, Commerzbank, Erste Group, IBM, and UBS, has developed a blockchain-based global trade finance platform, dubbed ‘Batavia,’ which has successfully completed its first live pilot transactions with corporate clients.

Built on the IBM Blockchain Platform, Batavia has the potential to enhance the client experience by providing a digital and automated way of arranging, securing and financing international trade transactions.

According to the official release, the initial transactions included the trading of cars from Germany to Spain, and textile raw materials for furniture production from Austria to Spain. They were conducted with a variety of transportation modes, geographies and trading parties of various sizes, which underscored Batavia's ability to scale and manage diverse transaction types.

"We are proud to have played a significant role in achieving this milestone – successfully enabling international trade using Blockchain," said Jeffrey Shell, Managing Director and Head of Global Trade & Banking at BMO. "We are committed to continuing to develop innovative solutions that help our clients reach new markets; simply, safely and quickly."

In order to cover the end-to-end trade process, Batavia takes into account both the closing of trade agreements and the execution of smart payments, which can be automatically triggered by specified events in the supply chain and recorded in the blockchain. The platform is able to integrate track and trace and risk management tools, which can be tied to key events in the supply chains and signals from IoT devices, agreed upon between buyer and seller.

The Batavia project is now seeking to enter the next phase focused on the building out of a production-ready solution. This phase could see collaborations with fintechs, financial institutions, or other innovation leaders in the market.

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