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Shell and BP-backed VAKT to launch blockchain platform to digitize commodities trading industry by end of 2018

Wed, 14 Nov 2018, 03:40 am UTC

VAKT Global, a company formed by a consortium of commodity traders, energy majors and banks, is planning to launch a blockchain-based post-trade processing platform for the energy industry by the end of 2018, CoinDesk reported.

Created and launched as an independent company in December 2017, VAKT is backed by energy majors BP, Shell and Statoil; trading houses Gunvor, Koch Supply & Trading, and Mercuria; and banks ABN Amro, ING and Societe Generale.

VAKT, a member of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA), announced its plans to launch the platform at a digital commodities summit hosted by S&P Global Platts on Monday.

The blockchain-based platform will help oil companies do away with paper-based documentation and switch to smart contracts. This, in turn, is expected to reduce costs and lower the risk of errors and enhance the efficiency of post-trade processes. It will comprise a “secure, real-time blockchain-based platform to manage physical energy transactions,” the group said.

“We expect to go live at the end of November in the North Sea oil market. In 2019 we will look at ARA barges, waterborne markets and US crude pipelines,” said Lyon Hardgrave, VAKT Global’s vice president of product development, adding that the first licensees are expected to be on board by January.

Hardgrave further said that licensees joining the blockchain platform on a fee basis can expect to save around 40 percent in post-trade resolution.

“This not a trading platform, nor a settlement platform – there is no cryptocurrency involved. But it is everything in between: deal recap; confirmation; contract; logistics (the really big element in all this) – and invoicing,” he added.

Earlier in September, some of the consortium members founded a new company – komgo SA – that also aims to digitize the trade and commodities finance sector through a blockchain based open platform. Noting this “strong overlap”, VAKT and komgo SA plan to explore synergies between both platforms.

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