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Blockchain trade finance network Marco Polo pilots first trade transactions between Russia and Germany

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Mon, 14 Oct 2019, 06:10 am UTC

Marco Polo, a blockchain-based trade finance network with over 20 global banks on board, will pilot its first trading arrangement between Germany and Russia.

Russian Alfa bank and Novolipetsk Steel Company (NLMK) and German Commerzbank and metals engineering firm Vesuvium GmbH will be participating in the distributed ledger technology-based trade finance transaction of Marco Polo.

We launched our first distributed ledger technology in trade finance as early as 2017. Since then, corporate blockchain solutions have been considerably elaborated, and earned our clients’ confidence and proved their applicability to real business processes,” Dina Merkulova, Alfa-Bank Head of Trade Finance, said.

NMLK Director for Treasury Anna Sokolova said the decision follows as the firm intends to optimize the blockchain-based interaction process with partners.

Launched in 2017, Marco Polo is a joint initiative between TradeIX and Corda developer R3 that aims to streamline business processes by implementing an accessible blockchain-based trade finance platform globally, with a goal to shift from paper-based documentation to efficient digital verification.

Our international corporates show continuous interest in piloting the Marco Polo Payment Commitment together with us and banks of our global network, like Alfa-Bank. Marco Polo network, meets our customers’ growing demand for increased speed of transaction and transparency, optimized financing, enhanced working capital management and possible integration of ERP systems,” Enno-Burghard Weitzel, Global Head of Trade Finance Products of Commerzbank, said.

Marco Polo is reportedly working with this array of banks: Bank of America, BNP Paribas, Commerzbank, ING, LBBW, Anglo-Gulf Trade Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Natixis, Bangkok Bank, SMBC, Danske Bank, NatWest, DNB, OP Financial Group, Alfa-Bank, Bradesco, BayernLB, Helaba, S-Servicepartner, Raiffeisen Bank International, Standard Bank, Credit Agricole and National Bank of Fujairah.

Meanwhile, its rival was recently used to execute transactions for trade finance by Switzerland’s banking giant UBS.

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