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Global banks, TradeIX, R3 pilot blockchain-based trade finance solution

Marco Polo, an initiative comprising of a group of leading banks, trade finance technology specialist TradeIX and enterprise software firm R3, is piloting a trade finance solution leveraging distributed ledger technology (DLT) following a successful a successful proof-of-concept.

Launched in September 2017, the initiative focuses on a trade finance platform built on an interoperable business network powered by open Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and blockchain technology. Core banking members include BNP, Commerzbank and ING, and additional banks including Standard Chartered, DNB, and OP Financial Group joined in recent months.

Marco Polo has developed a post-shipment trade financing solution. Powered by TradeIX’s TIX and R3’s Corda DLT platforms, the solution enables end-to-end, real-time, seamless connectivity between trade participants, eliminating the data silos which prevent free flow of information causing inefficiencies and discrepancies.

According to the official release, the solution initially focused on three distinct areas of trade finance: risk mitigation by provision of payment commitments based on the matching of trade data, payables finance, and receivables finance. It will be delivered via TradeIX’s TIX Platform, an open platform providing applications, technology tools and core infrastructure for the trade finance ecosystem.

“The tests ING ran as part of the proof-of-concept enabled us to see the value this solution could deliver in three separate areas of trade financing. The technology ran fast and smoothly and the positive results showed us we are on the right track and ready to take the next step by entering into a pilot,” said Ivar Wiersma, Head of Innovation ING Wholesale Banking.

The initiative aims to expand further this year to include additional banks and third party service providers, such as credit insurers, ERP and logistics providers, to create a fully interoperable open-sourced trade finance network.

“It is exciting to be part of the growing ecosystem building trade finance solutions on blockchain. Microsoft is honoured to be providing our global scale cloud as a foundation to R3 and TradeIX to speed this solution to market,” said Yorke Rhodes III, Azure Blockchain Engineering, Microsoft.

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