IBM joins founding banks as a new shareholder
we.trade, a blockchain-based platform that makes international trade faster and more efficient, announced an enhanced collaboration with IBM which will enable network enhancements and accelerate the global commercialisation of the platform. IBM has also become a new shareholder along with the 12 existing bank shareholders.
Already one of the largest blockchain-enabled trade networks in production, we.trade is designed to improve the trade finance lending process, supporting companies as they grow their business and expand into new markets. Over the last few months, we.trade has seen momentum continue to build as companies move to replace paper based trade finance processes with a digitised solution.
Starting July 2020, we.trade will extend services to additional banks and clients across Europe before expanding the network globally, starting with Asia. At the same time, work will continue to help enable we.trade to interoperate with other distributed ledger-based trade finance networks, such as the work already completed with Hong Kong-based eTradeConnect, a blockchain-based trade finance platform formed by 12 Asian banks.
In the current climate, improving access to trade finance is critical to economic recovery. With disruption in many services that support traditional trade finance methods, there’s now an added incentive for international trade to go digital, including embracing platforms which offer digitized versions of once manual business processes to ensure signatures, contracts, and trade financing agreements can be virtually linked.
“No other distributed-ledger based platform for trade has moved so rapidly to deliver value for member organisations and their customers,” said Ciaran McGowan, CEO, we.trade. “The enthusiasm for this platform underscores the need to continue to invest and expand access to a growing number of organisations.”