Date
26 July 2017
Standard Chartered is among the banks looking to blockchain technology for trade finance and other applications. Photo: Bloomberg
Standard Chartered is among the banks looking to blockchain technology for trade finance and other applications. Photo: Bloomberg

Banks explore blockchain tech to combat trade finance risks

Global banks have started exploring distributed-ledger technology as part of risk-control efforts in the trade finance business.

Standard Chartered has teamed up with DBS Group to develop an electronic ledger of invoices that uses a parallel platform to the blockchain employed in bitcoin transactions, Bloomberg News reports.

The move comes after the UK-based lender lost almost US$200 million from a fraud at China’s Qingdao port two years ago.

Lenders such as Bank of America and HSBC Holdings are also looking at blockchain for trade finance and other banking applications, according to the report.

Blockchain proponents argue that the technology will change the face of banking, helping lenders cut billions of dollars in costs.

Trade financing may become ground zero for blockchain adoption because it promises to do away with paper invoices and the fraud that accompanies them, Bloomberg said. 

Almost 20 percent of banks in a 2015 survey by the International Chamber of Commerce reported an increase in fraud allegations.

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