Big guns team up for Marco Polo blockchain trade finance initiative
The big names are out in force for a new blockchain-fuelled trade finance initiative called Marco Polo.
Since launching in September 2017, with BNP, Commerzbank and ING as core banks, the initiative has attracted interest from others, with additional banks including Standard Chartered, DNB, and OP Financial Group joining in recent months.
The backbone is courtesy of the TIX platform from TradeIX and Corda via enterprise software firm R3. The duo is piloting it using distributed ledger technology (DLT) following a “successful” proof of concept (PoC).
Jacques Levet, head of transaction banking EMEA BNP Paribas, says the PoC is “an important milestone in this project” and “the fact that more banks have joined also illustrates the interest in this project and in the potential of DLT in supply chain finance solutions”.
According to all the gang members, the solution enables “end-to-end, real-time, seamless connectivity between trade participants, eliminating the data silos which prevent free flow of information causing inefficiencies and discrepancies”.
Initially the solution is focused on three distinct areas: risk mitigation by provision of payment commitments based on the matching of trade data, payables finance, and receivables finance.
The collective ambition is to expand the initiative in 2018 to include additional banks and third party service providers, such as credit insurers, enterprise resource planning (ERP) and logistics providers.
Microsoft is also involved as it providing its Azure cloud solution to R3 and TradeIX to “speed this solution to market”.
Law and Luxembourg
In two separate developments, and as reported yesterday (20 February), R3 and BNP have been busy.
R3 launched its Legal Centre of Excellence as a platform for the legal community to get the latest updates and share practices regarding blockchain and Corda.
While BGL BNP Paribas is buying all the outstanding shares in ABN Amro (Luxembourg) and its fully owned subsidiary ABN Amro Life as the latter sees no future for its wealthtech business in the country.