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Banking giant UBS officially implements we.trade blockchain

twicepix [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)]

Thu, 10 Oct 2019, 04:09 am UTC

Switzerland’s banking giant UBS has started executing transactions on we.trade blockchain platform for trade finance, which will soon be adopted by other member banks.

The Swiss bank revealed it went live on we.trade at the start of October, providing services to small and mid-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Speaking to CoinDesk, a company representative said UBS is reaching out to customers “on a one-to-one basis” as it aims to create awareness of its blockchain-based platform and to educate them on how it works.

We.trade intends to develop a trusted network among SME clients of European banks. Some of the services the platform offers include bank payment guarantees and invoice financing.

The spokesperson said the platform is ready and is awaiting commercial adoption, with plans to lure more banks and onboard more SMEs.

Trading fees on the platform can range between $2,000 a month (early users) and a $175,000 full annual membership license. Trialing a project can also cost up to $75,000 per year. We.trade is built by IBM on the open-source Hyperledger Fabric blockchain system, although it plans to bring in-house tech soon.

Deutsche Bank, HSBC, KBC Bank, Nordea, Rabobank, Santander, Société Générale, and UniCredit have already implemented we.trade for trade contract settlement. On the other hand, Erste Group of Austria and Spain’s CaixaBank have started offering live transactions at the start of this month.

Meanwhile, Greece’s Eurobank and Czech Republic’s three main banks – CSOB, Komercni, and Česká Spořitelna – are expected to join early 2020.

We.trade needs more SMEs using the platform. To have more SMEs, it also needs more banks to join, not as equity investors, but really users of we.trade. The SMEs we are dealing with are telling us how happy they are to have such an offer and they are also asking us as much as possible to try to convince other banks to join,” Marie-Laure Gastellu, Société Générale’s deputy head of trade finance, said.

Meanwhile, just last month, the Bank of America, the world’s eighth-largest bank by total assets, has joined blockchain-based trade finance network Marco Polo, joining other network members like BNP Paribas, Commerzbank, Standard Chartered Bank, among others.

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