A team of leading European banks has joined forces to form an organisation to oversee the release of a new blockchain platform for international trade.
The platform is called Digital Trade Chain, and the consortium is targeting European SMEs for the enhancement of cross-border trade and transparency.
Eight banks are involved in the process; they include HSBC, Deutsche Bank, Societe Generale, KBC, Unicredit, Rabobank, Natixis. Banco Santander has also recently entered the consortium, raising the strength of the unit to eight.
With the arrival of Banco Santander, the new group will be called we.trade. Together the newly formed team is targeting Q2 2018 as the period for the full launch of the platform, with testing set to be carried out early next year.
A flurry of blockchain platform plans and projects aiming to disrupt cross-border trade have emerged recently, causing competition in the crowded space.
JPMorgan recently announced the launch of a new payment processing network that harnesses blockchain technology, and like the platform set to be released by the we.trade consortium, it too is intended to revolutionise cross-border transactions. JPMorgan has plans via the new platform to make once complex, time restrained, international transactions happen in real time.
IBM is also a hardened competitor familiar with the blockchain arena, and it also recently announced the launch of a blockchain project that is intended to make international payment processes more efficient through the application of cryptocurrency.
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HSBC has proven itself an extremely forward thinking bank in regard to blockchain, having been involved in a number of projects focussed on furthering the development of the technology.
One such example is a group of banks working to use digital currency to disrupt the process of transactions and clear, this work has involved the likes of Credit Suisse and Barclays were among other banks alongside HSBC in this consortium.