Citi Joins HSBC Funded Blockchain Trade Finance Network Contour
Citi is entering the blockchain trade finance network, Contour. Earlier known as the Voltron Letter of Credit blockchain, Contour was commercially launched last month in Singapore.
Yesterday it was declared that Citi Ventures has funded in the platform. This is one of the various blockchain news by Citi in a matter of weeks.
Contour’s focus is digitizing the Letter of Credit process, which is recently much paperwork burdensome. It intends to bring improved transparency and efficiency to the process and decrease the settlement between banks and trading partners.
As an instance of the transparency, typically, paper documents are couriered to classify them from cargo. But that takes time and can be blocked. Because documents are digitally signed on the Contour platform, they are accessible in real-time, and there’s a belief that they haven’t been tampered with.
“With international trade being of such significant importance for the global economy, with trillions of dollars’ worth of goods in circulation, proper financing is vital for its continued growth,” said Carl Wegner, CEO of Contour.
“Our network provides trusted information in real-time, digitizing the process for all users. To have a significant global trade player like Citi, join us is a tremendous validation of the work we are doing and allows us to continue creating greater efficiency for the industry.”
Based on R3’s Corda blockchain, Contour was established by seven banks, Bangkok Bank, CTBC Holding, BNP Paribas, SEB, HSBC, ING, and Standard Chartered. Other backers comprise consultants Bain & Company and technology partner CryptoBLK as well as R3. NatWest appears to have seeped out of the consortium during the commercial launch.
In the last few weeks, Citi published plans to go live on the CobaltFX DLT platform. It went into making on another forex network, CLSNet. And Citi also commenced utilizing Axoni’s DLT equity swap solution.
Several years ago, Citi was operating internally on a blockchain-based supply chain finance solution. It’s also a participant in the commodity trade finance network komgo.
Other blockchain bets involve an investment in Symbiont, and aid in ID2S the blockchain central securities depository for European commercial paper.
As of 2018, the global trade finance market was valued at $39 billion, according to Allied Market Research. Meanwhile, the Asian Development Bank estimates the global trade finance gap to be about $1.5 trillion. So, the opportunity is vast, and various blockchain projects are presently at work to achieve specific markets.
The Marco Polo Network is one such high-profile trade finance blockchain, which is initially targeting large enterprises. Based on R3’s Corda, the platform is anticipating to see a client go into production soon.