Seven European banks partner with IBM on blockchain for SMEs


A consortium of seven major European banks – Deutsche Bank, HSBC, KBC, Natixis, Rabobank, Société Générale and UniCredit – which in January announced plans for a blockchain platform to help European small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) increase trade, have selected IBM to develop and host the venture.

The new platform “is designed to simplify and facilitate domestic and cross-border trade for SMEs in Europe, while helping to increase overall trade transaction transparency. It will run in the IBM Cloud and is designed to connect the parties involved in a trade transaction, both online and via mobile devices. The platform aims to simplify trade finance processes by addressing the challenge of managing, tracking and securing domestic and international trade transactions.

The Digital Trade Chain is expected to go into production by the end of this year and will be built on Hyperledger Fabric v1.0.0, an open source blockchain framework and one of five Hyperledger projects hosted by The Linux Foundation, and hosted on the IBM Cloud.

“By addressing the financing gap of SMEs – a traditionally underserved market segment – the solution is anticipated to help open new revenue streams and initiate new trading relationships and foster trade growth,” commented IBM. “According to the World Bank (WB), 50% of SMEs do not have access to formal credit.”

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