Japan’s third largest banking institution, the Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC), has announced that it will start to employ R3 and Trade IX’s Marco Polo blockchain platform commercially, for all of its trade finance needs.
According to the SMBC, the bank already completed a proof-of-concept (PoC) test which successfully handled a cross-border transaction between Mitsui & Co, Indorama Ventures as well as Thailand’s third biggest bank, the Bangkok Bank.
The platform allows all parties to a transaction, direct access to the transaction in real time, significantly improving efficiency and also ensuring much better speed than other traditional methods. It also allows all the parties to update invoices, shipping schedules, routes and all other factors that are a part of the transaction.
The PoC test also proved to improve financing as the Bangkok Bank was able to give Indorama Ventures a payment guarantee for Mitsui & Co. on the blockchain, which then allowed the SMBC provide funding.
The Marco Polo platform suns on Corda and already has quite a few members including MasterCard, Standard Chartered, Bank of America, SMBC, Mitsui & Co, Bangkok Bank, BNP Paribas and quite a few others.
The fact that major companies like these can demonstrate that a blockchain solution actually works, might just be enough proof to encourage other institutions to follow suit.
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