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IBOS members Banco Santander, KBC, Nordea and UniCredit have joined the first blockchain-based trade finance platform,, as founding partners.

The consortium is, in conjunction with IBM, developing a platform based on distributed ledger technology (DLT) that aims to make domestic and cross-border commerce easier, safer and more efficient for companies. It is the first blockchain-based trade finance platform making a milestone in the practical adoption of DLT in the financial industry.

In entering the initiative, IBOS members Banco Santander, KBC, Nordea and UniCredit, along with Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Natixis, Rabobank, Société Générale as a founder member of the consortium and extending its geographical coverage into the Nordic markets.

The platform will facilitate secure international trade between SMEs, seamlessly connecting the parties involved in a trade transaction (i.e., the buyer, buyer’s bank, seller, seller’s bank and transporter). The platform will also be accessible 24/7 from any connected device.

Ville Sointu, Head of DLT & Blockchain at Nordea, commented:

“In the current broad landscape of blockchain technology based initiatives in trade finance, we see as a standout in its focus and realistic execution strategy. We’re looking forward to providing a Nordic perspective to the future of trade finance.”

The commercialisation of the platform is anticipated in Q2 2018, while it is expected that test customers of the founding banks will use the platform earlier. Although backed by nine founding member banks, the consortium is an open bank platform available for other banks to join in order to create standardisation, collaboration and consensus across banks to support trade.

Read the full press release via Nordea here