The First Live Enterprise Blockchain Sets Sights on Every Area of Global Trade
At a distance notorious for promising radical transformation but providing largely prototypes up to now, Roberto Mancone, we.trade’s chief operating officer, has a record of earning good on his pledges.
Early last yearhe promised that the trade fund blockchain platform could go by mid-2018 — it did, with a concentration on trading involving little and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) in several European nations.
Later in the year, we.trade vowed it would make its first move out Europe — that it did, announcing a project to research interoperability using Hong Kong’s eTradeConnect plus a movement into Asia.
Enterprise blockchain watchers may also recall that Mancone called Batavia, another trade fund blockchain constructed on Hyperledger Fabric, will probably combine forces with we.trade. Batavia no longer exists; from its five banks, three chose to combine we.trade.
Contemplating his prescience, afterward, it is well worth listening to what Mancone must say about the year ahead. Based on him, 2019 is going to be a year old forging partnerships to get we.trade.
“Along with piling customers on the platform, our objective is to continue expansion in Asia and develop some strategic ventures out the financial marketplace,” he informed BMI.
The objective of these tie-ups would be to hasten the proliferation of this platform to new lands and take it past the bank-backed facets of trade finance, to finally create a suitable, frictionless user experience for customers engaged in every area of international commerce. As Mancone set it:
“The ultimate journey for the clients is not necessarily to work with one big player who does it all, but with a group of players that allow a seamless journey.”
Explaining we.trade’s interest in connecting up with eTradeConnect, Mancone stated:”Rather than building licensing or something some thing we wanted to determine if we can connect to platforms which have similarities concerning products since that will save yourself a great deal of energy and time.”
It also needs to be highlighted that just obtaining a banking blockchain platform into production remains a rare feat nowadays.
So far as time on the Hong Kong PoC, Mancone stated,”we hope to complete this evaluation by end of Q1, also if we’re comfortable we’ll try to go into production.”
Showing notable candor, Mancone also publicly shared that he needs we.trade to associate with.
1 platform that Mancone has a watch is IBM and Maersk’s supply chain DLT, TradeLens, that can be constructed utilizing Hyperledger Fabric. Considering that the focus on international commerce, and that IBM is we.trade’s authentic development spouse, some sort of cooperation would not come as a massive surprise.
TradeLens has digitized documentation for the whole supply chain, whilst we.trade’s smart contracts automate and ensure transactions between the banks of SMEs which are exporting and importing products to another.
Together with TradeLens, both IBM and Maersk have connected a lot of port and customs authorities, carriers, cargo and logistics companies all around the world. Combining this with we.trade will be”a game-changer,” explained Mancone.
“A project like TradeLens is, naturally, extremely interesting to all of us. If you consider the ecosystem which we would like to construct, our platform isn’t a trade finance platform. It is a commerce platform,” he explained.
Mancone confessed that forming a venture like this would call for considerable discussions, adding that”we are continuously tracking one another and always having dialogue to comprehend at what point these additional projects are in.”
Todd Scott, the president of blockchain international trade at IBM informed BMI:
“TradeLens and we.trade both endure to change their businesses, and we think there’s significant value and potential in these types of platforms ”
TradeShift, that didn’t respond to requests for comment by press time, was comparatively silent regarding blockchain despite linking Hyperledger as a highest member in 2017.
“We’ve talked to them,” explained Mancone. “TradeShift and we.trade are a great match concerning their distinct roles. I suppose when I cite 2019 since the year of ventures, TradeShift might be among the prospective partners.”
Pointing to each platform’s special capacities, Mancone added,
“TradeLens is the digitization of the entire supply chain and documents. TradeShift is really procurement, while we have the conditional payments and smart contracts – so if you put all these pieces together, it’s a good picture.”
Stepping back, we.trade differs from other business blockchain campaigns since it’s a provider as opposed to a consortium. Therefore, its governance arrangement appears to be palatable to shareholder and licensee banks, while also allowing the platform to move faster than rivals.
As Mancone clarified:
“We made it very clear that intellectual property is not owned by the banks. This is a big distinction between us and the other consortia. We are a legal entity and the IP is owned by the legal entity and it can be licensed to any other banks or partners without asking them to become shareholders. With currently 12 shareholder banks that means an average of almost 9% shares ownership.”
Mancone said the banks are content to not own the IP (provided their opponents do not either), while owning an equal share of the pie.
“Everybody that’s interested in the company or believes that the company may be of advantage might become a shareholder; it is not limited, the number of shareholders,” he said. “This creates better acceptance because we put them all in the exact same level concerning attributes, functionality and the platform which we provide.”
Moving swiftly towards production is a fantastic reason to avoid the traditional consortia model where a great deal of time is spent around a table, maybe with lawyers present. But, we.trade’s approach is also a substantial departure from TradeLens, where the IP is split between Maersk and IBM, something of an obstacle when it comes to getting other transport carriers to connect the network.
Mancone reported this is only because”we want a very light company with a very strong partner to begin and more partners to come.”
However he said ahead the company is hiring tech experience and the plan is also to create an API infrastructure so that fintech firms can tap into the platform and also help enhance it.
He explained this would reduce the dependence on a single seller and foster the introduction of a ecosystem. In terms of forming heavier partnerships with IBM, Mancone said there are definite differences between activities or components developed by Big Blue, which it retains the IP for, and the we.trade platform itself.
“However, the entire platform that is constructed, since it is built, that is the IP of we.trade,” he said.