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Shell and BP-backed Vakt goes live with first enterprise grade blockchain solution in energy sector

Thu, 29 Nov 2018, 10:14 am UTC

Commodity trading firm Guvnor Group has announced that Vakt, a blockchain-based post-trade processing platform, has been launched on Wednesday, Reuters 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.

Although no trades took place on Wednesday, the platform has now gone live.

According to Reuters, the platform will initially be opened only to member companies and will be opened up to others only in January 2019. Also, it will be initially limited to contracts for the five North Sea crude grades that are used to set Dated Brent. The platform plans to include U.S. crude pipelines and barges of refined products in early 2019.

Earlier this month, Lyon Hardgrave, Vakt Global’s vice president of product development, said that were planning 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,” he had said, adding that the first licensees are expected to be on board by January.

Vakt 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.

The platform will be linked to komgo, a new Geneva-based platform that aims to digitize the trade and commodities finance sector using blockchain technology.

“Vakt is the logistical arm...Once a deal is executed through our book of records, it gets pushed through Vakt. The next leg is the financing and the link-up with komgo gives access to several banks,” said Eren Zekioglu, Chief Operations and IT Officer at Gunvor Group.

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