The nine participating banks are about to launch the we.trade digital platform for their commercial clients in Summer 2018, after successfully testing the Blockchain based transactions and establishing the proper distribution legal entity.
Started in January 2017 under the name of Digital Trade Chain, the nine-bank consortium officially announced we.trade at last SIBOS, in October 2017. Together with IBM, we.trade has been developing a new digital trade platform to simplify trade finance processes for companies by addressing the challenge of managing, tracking and securing domestic and international trade transactions. This solution harnesses the power of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) and Smart Contracts.
After successfully testing DLT-based transactions on their own network, the nine banks established we.trade Innovation DAC, a new joint venture legal entity that will manage and distribute the we.trade platform. This new legal entity is incorporated in Dublin and includes the nine European banks as equal shareholders: Deutsche Bank, HSBC, KBC, Natixis, Nordea, Rabobank, Santander, Societe Generale, and Unicredit.
Commenting on this announcement, newly-appointed Chief Operation Officer Roberto Mancone, previously Global Head of Disruptive Technologies & Solutions at Deutsche Bank, said: “With the creation of the Joint Venture, we.trade is no longer a Proof of Concept but a company with its own Team that is set to deliver the first concrete Blockchain based enterprise grade, resilient and commercially viable application globally. We are now in the production process and are getting ready to launch the platform to banks and their clients in Summer 2018”.
In the first stage, 11 European countries (Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, the UK) will be covered by the platform, then, we.trade will become available to companies in additional markets, as other banks – in Europe and beyond – have expressed interest in joining.
Hubert Benoot, Head of Trade at KBC and Chairman of we.trade added: “a number of banks and clients have expressed an interest in becoming a part of the we.trade offering and the demand is high. Our focus is to deliver the solution in a timely manner by this summer, to companies which are looking for efficiency in their sales and supply chain journey. We are also planning to make the platform available to more businesses in Eastern Europe and Asia, as well as to expand the service offering by partnering with third party providers.”