BNY Mellon Aims to Go Live 'ASAP' on Trade Finance Blockchain Marco Polo

Bank of New York Mellon has joined the Marco Polo trade finance consortium running on R3’s Corda, becoming the 28th bank to do so.

AccessTimeIconNov 26, 2019 at 1:00 a.m. UTC
Updated May 9, 2023 at 3:04 a.m. UTC
10 Years of Decentralizing the Future
May 29-31, 2024 - Austin, TexasThe biggest and most established global hub for everything crypto, blockchain and Web3.Register Now

Bank of New York Mellon has joined the Marco Polo trade finance consortium running on R3’s Corda, becoming the 28th bank to do so. 

The $373-billion asset bank is evaluating Marco Polo’s technology with the intention of onboarding clients if the network’s capabilities fit clients’ interests, said Joon Kim, global head of trade finance at BNY Mellon. 

“Our hope is that the business requirements of our clients will meet with what Marco Polo has to offer, and our intention is to move into live production A-S-A-P," Kim said, meaning "as soon as possible." 

Kim wouldn’t reveal how many corporate and bank clients are receiving trade services from the bank, but said that BNY Mellon works with 1,400 financial institutions in total.

For banks around the globe that want to create their own trade operations but don’t want the hassle of developing a new division, BNY Mellon offers white-labeled trading services. In September of this year, the bank announced at the annual Sibos conference that it had expanded its trade services with KeyBank, a U.S. regional bank with $416 billion in assets. 

Trade finance is a “critical” part of BNY Mellon’s transaction banking business, which also consists of payments and liquidity products, Kim said. 

BNY Mellon chose Marco Polo because the blockchain works well for open account financing, which makes up around 85 percent of trade finance, and works well for large corporates, Kim said. (In open account transactions, the goods are shipped and delivered before payment is due; with letter-of-credit financing, the bank guarantees a buyer’s payment ahead of time). 

Among the other blockchain trade finance consortiums that Kim said BNY looked at but didn’t serve the bank’s needs, Voltron is designed around letters of credit, and we.Trade serves small to medium enterprises. 

Founded by blockchain companies R3 and TradeIX, Marco Polo aims to create real-time settlements and transparency in trading relationships. In September, Bank of America and Mastercard joined the network. The network executed its first Russia-Germany transactions in October of this year. 

BNY Mellon has interacted with R3’s Corda in other contexts. In October 2017, the bank participated in a marketplace with four other banks that uses Corda as a hub for administering syndicated loans. 

The bank is also dipping a toe in the crypto space. In April, BNY Mellon began digital asset safekeeping (different than digital asset custody) by providing private key storage for bitcoin futures exchange Bakkt. 

BNY Mellon has also been tapped to be the administrator and transfer agent for shares of the VanEck SolidX Bitcoin Trust being sold to institutions as well as Bitwise’s proposed bitcoin exchange-traded fund. 


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk offers all employees above a certain salary threshold, including journalists, stock options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk's longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to to register and buy your pass now.