Dun & Bradstreet trials blockchain for trade finance

Innovation | October 17, 2016 By:

Dun & Bradstreet Corp., an American business services company, is testing a blockchain distributed ledger for offering its proprietary corporate data to business customers.

Saleem Khan, vice president of data innovation at Dun & Bradstreet said that by using the distributed ledger technology, the company will confirm trade finance transactions faster than the traditional methods used by banks shippers, suppliers and other involved in such partnerships.

A pilot system with a subset of data about 6,500 public companies is accessible now to customers, Khan said. The blockchain system matches DUNS numbers – the proprietary code Dun & Bradstreet assigns companies it covers – to unique blockchain identifier code created for each company. In a trade finance deal, for example, a company could, he said, verify “instantaneously” information about a potential partner, including legal name, address and whether there are liens, lawsuits or judgments against it.

A possible future use of the system could include advisory services where Dun & Bradstreet suggests compatible trading partners for a customer based on analyzing data culled from the blockchain ledger about how the organizations do business.