Banks Ink Blockchain Trade Finance Transaction with Food Giant Cargill

HSBC Says Performs First Trade Finance Transaction Using Blockchain

The LOC backed a shipment of soybeans to Malaysia from Argentina last week. The Cargill exchange was done using Corda Blockchain, a platform developed by the R3 consortium which HSBC and ING are both a part of.

While there have been several instances of proof-of-concept transactions performed using the blockchain, this one between HSBC and ING is the first that indicates its commercial applications, a spokesperson said to CNBC.

Traditionally, these transactions take between five and 10 days to complete and typically require numerous paper records that need to be signed by all parties involved.

The companies exchanged the information needed for the letter of credit in 24 hours, the banks said.

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After a quiet evening, Wednesday will warm from early morning temperatures from 45 to 55 to mainly the upper 70s and 80s. Even still, there could be pockets of heavy rain, small hail and gusty winds - especially along the Palmer Divide.

HSBC successfully completed the trade transaction for USA food and agriculture firm Cargill.

It was an end-to-end transaction that was carried out on a shared digital application between the buyer, seller, and the banks involved. HSBC's pioneering use of blockchain shows the potential for this nascent technology to revolutionise many aspects of the financial sector beyond cryptocurrencies.

Despite their general hostility towards cryptocurrency industry, a growing number of banks have started embracing its underlying technology-the blockchain.

"With blockchain, the need for paper reconciliation is removed because all parties are linked on the platform and updates are instantaneous". It hopes the technology will mean trade finance deals can be made simpler, quicker, more transparent and more secure.

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However, before it can progress further with integrating blockchain into worldwide trade, HSBC needs more banks, ports, shipping companies and customs operations to adopt similar collaborative technology platforms. It was developed by R3, a blockchain consortium based in NY.

Referring to a study by the United Nations, HSBC said that switching to an electronic system could reduce the time it takes to export goods by up to 44 percent and lower costs by up to 31 percent.

Ivar Wiersma, Managing Director, Innovation Wholesale Banking, ING, said: "It's exciting to see this transaction has been completed successfully with clear client benefits in speed and ease in execution".

R3, along with supporting banks, is now looking to expand the use of the network as a utility for the trade finance sector. Corda is supported by 12 banks and this will hopefully allow it to bring the technology to market quickly and on a global scale.

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