24 Oct CryptoBLK Teams Up with 8 Banks to Bring Voltron to Production
The Voltron initiative has launched the open platform for documentary trade, targeting production on R3’s Corda Enterprise blockchain platform in 2019 developed by CryptoBLK. Founding members of Voltron include Bangkok Bank, BNP Paribas, CTBC Holding, HSBC, ING, NatWest, SEB and Standard Chartered. Voltron’s initial aim is to use blockchain technology to bring significant efficiencies to transacting letters of credit.
Collaboration with corporate customers has been critical in shaping the initiative, with a successful live transaction with Cargill in May 2018 demonstrating the viability of the platform. Voltron is continuing to extend its corporate customer programme to undertake more live transactions and is in active discussions with a number of corporates.
Corporate customers will be able to connect with their banks and trading partners via a single, simplified channel, for both issuance of letters of credit and presentation/exchange of documents across an open network. In addition, trade documents produced on external networks by a corporate’s supply chain partners can be digitally sent, verified and processed in Voltron. This new model provides legal enforceability of title documents and greater digitisation across business networks on Corda, addressing the challenge of today’s digital islands bridged by paper-based processes. The Bolero network and electronic Bill of Lading (eBL) functionality is included at launch. The essDocs network and eBL solution will start the initial design and integration with the Voltron solution, with others to be added on a rolling basis.
Voltron will enable banks to speed up financing decisions and enhance the customer experience. The banks’ corporate clients can reduce internal operational procedures through less reconciliation with their trading partners and banks.To help lower barriers of adoption and create an open ecosystem, a unique partner programme is available to enable trade finance platform providers to offer a Letters of Credit solution on the Voltron business network. Voltron is working with four of the leading trade finance platform vendors to design and build a solution that will offer a Voltron-enabled service to their existing bank and corporate customers.
Voltron extends an open invitation to all banks and corporates to apply to join the network.
Dr. Duncan Wong, CEO and Co-founder, CryptoBLK comments: “CryptoBLK is privileged to carry out the Voltron CorDapp development, and pleased to see the continued growth of Voltron as a testament to efficiencies that the whole industry can achieve through Blockchain. CryptoBLK has vast experience in developing solutions using R3’s Corda and we remain excited, together with our collaborating banks and partners, to transform global trade via the secure, scalable, and open Voltron platform.”
Ms. Pornnit Dunnvatanachit, Executive Vice President at Bangkok Bank comments:“With more banks and supply chain partners joining the system the widespread adoption of distributed ledger technology will reach critical mass more quickly. As part of Bangkok Bank’s ongoing commitment to continually innovate and deploy new solutions, we are excited about the launch of the Voltron platform and believe it has the potential to dramatically improve the efficiency of transactions for the Bank’s import-export customers”
Jean- François Denis, Global Head of Trade solutions and Network Management at BNP Paribas comments: “BNP Paribas is proud of being part of this project since its inception. We are convinced this initiative can help achieve important steps toward automation and digitization of traditional Trade Finance instruments like letter of credits. All actors in the ecosystem would benefit if solutions using new technologies such as DLT are widely adopted, hence the importance to co-construct and involve actively our clients through pilots.”
Frank Shih, Head of Global Operations Group at CTBC Bank, a subsidiary of CTBC Holding comments: “The whole Trade Finance end-to-end process has the potential to be revolutionized by technology innovation and the relevant stakeholders involved in this ecosystem will experience secured and efficient banking services thanks to Distributed Ledger Technology. We are excited to participate in this initiative aiming to provide our corporate clients with better, faster and easier trade finance solutions.”
Vinay Mendonca, Managing Director, Global Head of Product and Propositions, Global Trade and Receivables Finance at HSBC comments: “Following our live transaction earlier this year we have had a tremendous response from clients, eager to digitise their Letter of Credit process, and we have more transactions scheduled over the coming months. To deliver on the promise of a digital future, banks will need to collaborate with each other and the wider trade ecosystem. This commitment from HSBC and our Voltron partners is proof that banks are ready to invest in the delivery of this vision.”
Ivar Wiersma, Global Head of ING Labs Wholesale Banking, comments: “Voltron proves that we are on the right track for a revolution in trade finance. The feedback we received from our clients in the pilots we did is promising: the Voltron application is user-friendly and provides all relevant information within the letter of credit process fast. We are looking forward to continuing the development of the platform and even further improve the client’s experience.”
Jim Bidwell, Head of Trade Services Product Management at NatWest comments: “Voltron will revolutionise the way LCs operate for both banks and their customers – transacting the LC on Corda with the potential for interoperability with other third party platforms and services will offer the ability to transact LCs in a fraction of the current time and cost together with an array of value adding functionality.”
Paula da Silva, Head of Transaction Services at SEB comments: “SEB’s participation in Voltron is the consequent next step on our journey to make the usage of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) become business reality. Trade Finance and in particular the letter of credit processing inherits huge efficiency potentials still to be realized. Using DLT on this product can take the business to another level and achieve tremendous benefits for both the banks and our corporate clients.”
Samuel John Mathew, Global Head, Documentary Trade, Transaction Banking at Standard Chartered comments: “The initiation, verification and settlement process for documentary trade is currently too manual and paper intensive with an estimated 4 billion pages of documents circulating today. With innovation as a key agenda in our strategy, Standard Chartered is excited to play our part in driving the much needed digitisation in documentary trade to improve efficiencies in the process and hopefully eliminate the need for paper presentation. We believe that the open and agnostic infrastructure of Voltron will be an industry-defining solution which many of our clients will benefit from in the near future.
Sen Ganesh, Partner at Bain & Company comments: “We’re extremely excited to be working with leading regional and global banks on this groundbreaking initiative, to use Distributed Ledger Technology to digitize and transform global trade. Voltron highlights the amazing potential of innovation, through the combination of technology and industry collaboration, in order to address international trade inefficiencies and challenges.”
David E. Rutter, CEO, R3 comments: “Today’s trade finance solutions were built in siloes, adding significant risk, operational inefficiencies and costs into the process. Previous trades conducted on Voltron have demonstrated banks can offer a commercially and operationally viable blockchain solution with significant customer benefit.”