Blockchain comes to address the need for shortening trade-related transactions times, allowing to connect the ecosystem of business trading across global supply chains. It can record not just financial transactions but virtually any information of value.

In April, HSBC joined forces with Voltron to use its blockchain-based platform to facilitate a Letter of Credit (LC) transaction between clients situated in Australia and China.

The bank had also teamed up with ING to use Voltron to help process a shipment of soya beans from Argentina to Malaysia for Cargill in May 2018.

Now for the first time, HSBC connected to the physical supply chain through a complementary network. The transaction involved a bulk shipment from Hong Kong to the UAE, with a Letter of Credit issued by HSBC.

Shipping has shown an increased interest in blockchain over the last years. Blockchain, as a secure and decentralized shared database, forms the basis for the so-called ‘Smart Contracts’, as it ensures that no one person exclusively controls it, improving transparency and reducing paperwork complexity and costs.

In early 2017, Maersk and IBM join forces on the groundbreaking blockchain venture Tradelens, with the aim to develop a global trade digitization platform that will move all administrative burden associated with a container shipment to the internet.