A consortium of banks is planning to launch a joint business venture for its in-development blockchain commerce platform.
Aiming to ease European domestic and cross-border trade, the Digital Trade Chain group is building a distributed ledger framework that connects a buyer, sellers, banks and intermediaries to simplify transaction management and tracking.
To that end, the consortium will create a new business entity in the Republic of Ireland, jointly owned by the eight founding banks, that will manage and distribute the offering, now rebranded as "we.trade." The new entity is expected to be formed sometime by the end of the year.
"The commercialization of the platform is expected in Q2 2018. From February 2018, test clients of the founding banks will be able to use the platform," the consortium said in a statement.
First unveiled in January, Digital Trade Chain now counts Banco Santander among its membership, alongside Deutsche Bank, HSBC, KBC, Natixis, Rabobank, Societe Generale and UniCredit – as well as IBM.
The coming months will also see efforts to attract additional parties to the consortium in addition to financial services. One area of focus will be companies involved in the trade process, including in shipping – an industry that has seen rapidly growing interest in blockchain tech in recent months.
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