Japan’s Second Largest Bank—SMBC, Completes its R3 Blockchain-Based Trade Finance Proof-of-Concept (PoC) Trial

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Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC), has recently announced the completion of a proof-of-concept (PoC) using blockchain consortium R3’s Marco Polo trade finance platform.

SMBC is the Only Japanese Bank Participating in Marco Polo

According to a press release relaying the completion of the proof-of-concept (PoC) protocol, the bank is currently the only Japanese bank to have done so. Also, the SMBC is the only Japanese bank participating in Marco Polo.

The release also made it clear that the protocol was completed through a partnership with Japanese multinational Mitsui & Co. This partnership will also do well to improve the bank’s trading processes.

The press release stated that:

“[The] PoC was conducted between SMBC and Mitsui & Co. which aims to improve productivity in its trade operations, by testing modules such as Receivable Finance and Payment Commitment (Payment Undertaking),”

“SMBC expects to commercialize Marco Polo in the first half of (the financial year 2019)after verification of the PoC.” the release further explained

The Marco Polo which was created in the year 2017 is the product of a collaboration between R3 and Irish tech firm TradeIX. As a result of this collaboration, blockchain technology is going to get integrated with trade finance. More 15 different major global banks are now leveraging R3’s Corda technology, to power their financial systems. These 15 banks are the current member of the Marco Polo consortium. The ING, NatWest and BNP Paribas are part of this consortium.

Increase in Participating Members

The number of participating member saw an increase last year, when the largest bank in Thailand—Bangkok Bank, announced that it has joined the Marco Polo consortium. The bank plans to reduce cost and streamline its approach to the financial market.

At launching, the R3 had a total of nine participating members. With the launch of its Corda Network, the number of participating members now stands at over 300 members.

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