Tech giant IBM has taken a seven percent stake in blockchain-based trading platform we.trade.
The we.trade platform was developed by Nordea, along with 12 banks including Deutsche Bank, HSBC, KBC, Natixis, Rabobank, Societe Generale, Banco Santander and UniCredit, using the IBM Blockchain platform to exploit a licensed blockchain for transactions in supply chain trade financing. The platform allows companies to identify trusted counterparties for establishing new commercial relations – providing full visibility on transaction and shipment status, digitalizing the whole process from order creation to payment execution.
In a press release, we.trade unveiled an “enhanced collaboration” with IBM and announced that the tech giant is joining its founding banks as a new shareholder.
“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 marketplace,” said Jason Kelley, GM of blockchain services for IBM.
Starting July 2020, we.trade will extend services to new banks and clients across Europe before expanding the network globally, beginning with Asia. The platform will also continue building interoperability with other distributed ledger-based trade finance networks, such as that already completed with Hong Kong-based eTradeConnect, a blockchain-based trade finance platform formed by 12 Asian banks.
“Having now satisfied the legal, security, compliance and integration requirements of 16 of the biggest banks in Europe, we.trade is moving towards full commercialization as banks start to onboard at least 10% of their client bases onto the network in the coming months,” said Ciaran McGowan, CEO we.Trade. “Small to mid-size enterprises and small corporates have historically had the least access to liquidity and technology services in commercial trade. It is quite special to see competitor financial institutions collaborating to create better services and innovative financial offerings for these companies. Insurance services, integration to accounting systems, and interconnectivity to global platforms will further enhance the experience for these types of businesses.”
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