Major Banks Join UBS-IBM Trade Finance Blockchain

Blockchain, FinTech | October 5, 2017 By:

Four major banks have joined UBS and IBM to build a new global trade platform based on blockchain technology.

The platform, named Batavia, is built on the IBM Blockchain Platform powered by the Hyperledger Fabric Blockchain framework. The project aims to help organizations build multi-party, cross-border trading networks worldwide. Batavia will enable transacting parties to view the progress of a shipment as it leaves the warehouse, is loaded onto a plane, truck or boat and arrives at the receiving port, automatically releasing payments incrementally along each step of the process.

Bank of Montreal, CaixaBank, Commerzbank, and Erste Group will be working “collaboratively” with UBS and IBM, in consultation with the transportation industry, as well as the banks’ customers, to ensure the platform can eventually be commercialized. Batavia is targeting pilot transactions with customers on the network in early 2018 to test and refine the platform.

IBM said Batavia will help connect participants in a trading network, delivering the potential to transform global trade. The open nature of the platform, which encourages broad participation by many banks, vendors and regulators, will also help open new trade corridors, bring new players into the market and expedite processes that before were prohibitively time-consuming and expensive.

The blockchain platform will save users time and reduce costs by ensuring the integrity of data as it changes hands, reducing third-party verification processes and minimizing the potential for errors, tampering or disputes.

“In working with hundreds of clients to implement blockchain solutions, financing global trade has emerged as one of the use-cases most in need of innovating,” said Fabio Keller, IBM project lead. “Targeting the creation of large, global, multi-modal networks that bring transparency and trust to each step of the trade process is what makes Batavia a platform with so much potential to transform the way companies around the world do business with one another.”