Standard Chartered is the latest major financial player to announce they will be using R3’s Corda platform. In a recent release, Standard Chartered announced they would be working with German conglomerate Siemens’ financing arm Siemens Financial Services (SFS), and trade finance platform TradeIX to create a blockchain-based system for bank guarantees.
The new system will:
“digitize trade and leverage real-time data to deliver efficiency gains and transform the way trade finance is conducted,”
According to Samuel Mathew commented, who is Standard Chartered’s global head of trade products. Mr. Mathew went on to say that,“The future of trade is going to be all about data,” which means that more blockchain platforms could be working their way out of the banking system at any time.
Bank guarantees aren’t a part of most consumer’s lives, but they are a vital part of the global economy. Much like letters of credit, or other forms of trade finance, bank guarantees are a financial product that is ready for change. This isn’t the first major initiative by a group of financial institutions that seeks to revamp an inefficient system using blockchain.
Standard Chartered Looks for Advantages
Standard Chartered is also working with a consortium of the largest banks in Asia, to create a new platform that would change how trade finance happens. TradeIX CEO Rob Barnes belives that
“Global trade is at the cusp of multi-level digital transformation which will revolutionise the entire business and operating model,”
Which is probably why numerous banks are working on ways to spearhead blockchain development programs.
The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) announced last month that Standard Chartered would be one of the banks involved with their new trade finance platform, which is based on a blockchain architecture developed by PingAn. The backbone of the system that PingAn developed is already in use, and has created advantages for the entire trade finance ecosystem in mainland China.
Unlike traditional trade finance, PingAn’s platform offers benefits for both banks and their clients. The platform they created also makes creating merchant accounts much easier, due to its high level of automation. The end result of this is a wider range of potential borrowers, and more oversight for the lending entities within the trade finance market.
R3 Appears to be Doing Fine
A string of news reports earlier this year suggested that the R3 consortium was running out of money, which was immediately refuted by the company. R3 is a private organization, so their financials are not accessible to the public.
Whatever their current capital position, their Corda architecture is in demand. This announcement from Standard Chartered comes on the heels of a similar announcement from Thailand’s Central Bank, who is reportedly using Corda to launch a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).
R3 has been working to tailor Corda to businesses’ needs, and released a version last month that was specifically created to address privacy concerns. Many of the members of the R3 consortium are financial institutions, and have to adhere to strict regulations when it comes to data privacy.
Richard Gendal Brown, the CTO at R3, commented publicly after the release of the new version of Corda,
“Traditional permissionless blockchain platforms, in which all data is shared with all parties, have issues around privacy, scalability and interoperability that render them largely unsuited for global business. This is the problem Corda was designed to solve and it is gaining adoption at a rapid pace across a range of industries. However many enterprises – especially larger ones – face unique technical constraints. Corda Enterprise fine tunes Corda for these firms so that they can adopt blockchain technology in a way that is straightforward and natural. The launch of the platform is a watershed moment for business blockchain technology.”
Mr. Brown’s views would appear to be accurate, based on the recent announcement from Siemens, Standard Chartered, and TradeIX. Corda was also employed by Ernst and Young, Guardtime and Maersk, for another platform that would address insurance for global logistics. Whether or not there will be overlap between all of these Corda-based systems is unknown, but hopefully synergy is being designed into all of these platforms that deal with similar businesses.