Japan_flagMizuho Financial Group, Mizuho Bank and IBM Japan have teamed up to build a blockchain-based trade financing platform – with commercialisation edging ever forward.

With the platform, Mizuho is aiming to “make it easier” for parties involved in the supply chain, including exporters, importers, shippers, insurance companies, port operators and port authorities, to “share critical shipment data in near real-time”.

Mizuho Financial Group is working with IBM Japan to ultimately conduct actual trade transactions based on Hyperledger Fabric, Linux Foundation’s open-source collaborative project. Specifically, the project exchanges digitised letters of credit between Japan and overseas clients.

Masao Sanbe, MD, industry sales, IBM Japan, says the project “marks an important step in using blockchain technology for actual operations in trade finance”.

This first phase of the project will lead to Mizuho conducting actual trade transactions using blockchain in June 2017 – and so “advancing the trade financial platform for commercialisation”. Mizuho worked with IBM on another blockchain pilot focused on currency settlement.


IBM’s and Mizuho’s interest in blockchain has been well documented.

Some recent examples include IBM’s oily threesome. Hold that thought – it was trade finance only – and with Natixis and physical commodities trading group Trafigura.

IBM also teamed up with Maersk for the “first industry-wide” cross-border supply chain solution on blockchain.

While in February, it was reported that Mizuho partnered with Cognizant to test cross-border document sharing and custom digital currency applications of blockchain.