Two major European banks have released the initial results of a blockchain prototype focused on oil trading.
The project, called Easy TradING Connect, was unveiled last month as part of a broader blockchain proof-of-concept push by Dutch financial services company ING, and was developed collaboratively with French banking group Société Générale.
The platform was later used to conduct a live oil trade with commodities trading firm Mercuria.
According to the firms involved, the prototype results in a reduction in the time and cost required to process a commodities trade. Specifically, they said that the amount of time it would take a bank to process its end of a trade was reduced from three hours to less than half an hour.
Alistair Cross, Mercuria's global head of operations, commented on the trial in a statement, saying:
"We are very pleased with the success of this initial test. The blockchain technology allows for access to real-time data and key details of the transaction all in one ecosystem, creating an improved and more flexible user experience."
While the test marks Mercuria's first publicly acknowledged work with blockchain, the company's chief executive Marco Dunand has previously remarked that the tech could result in a significant reduction in operational costs – a statement that seems to have been confirmed by the trial results.
Both ING and Société Générale have explored various blockchain concepts in the past.
ING has made no secret of its work with blockchain in both solo and in collaborative initiatives. SocGen, among other initiatives, is involved in a wide-ranging trade finance project with six other global banks.
Oil barrel image via Shutterstock