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Mastercard, Standard Chartered and others join Singapore’s blockchain-based TradeTrust network to digitize international trade

Wed, 22 Jan 2020, 13:07 pm UTC

The government of Singapore is teaming up with a number of firms across multiple industries to facilitate and accelerate the adoption of digital technologies in trade and commerce.

The initiative involves participation from the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), APRIL, DBS Bank, Marubeni Corporation, Mastercard, Mitsubishi Corporation, Mitsui & Co., Mizuho Bank, MUFG Bank, Noble, NTT DATA, PSA International, Sompo Japan Nipponkoa, Standard Chartered Bank, Sumitomo Corporation, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Tokio Marine, and Trafigura.

“This public-private partnership between global organisations will be a significant leap forward to shift international trade from a paper-based system to digitally-enabled trade. It will create enormous potential value based on time and operational cost savings combined with the greatly reduced incidence of fraud and human error,” a press release said.

TradeTrust interoperability framework

Singapore is teaming up with various international organisations, governments, and industry players to develop TradeTrust – an interoperability framework for the exchange of digital trade documentation on a public blockchain.

The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), a statutory board under the Singaporean Ministry of Communications and Information, has been developing the framework in collaboration with the Maritime Port Authority (MPA) and supported by partner agency, Enterprise Singapore.

“TradeTrust comprises a set of globally accepted standards and frameworks that connects governments and businesses to a public blockchain to enable trusted interoperability and the exchanges of electronic trade documents across digital platforms,” according to the TradeTrust fact sheet.

According to the press release, ICC TradeFlow is one of the first platforms built on the TradeTrust framework. It is developed by ICC in partnership with Perlin, IMDA, Trafigura, and DBS Bank. In November 2019, a $20 million pilot trade was executed on the platform which involved an iron ore shipment from South Africa to China.

Cointelegraph reported that the pilot has reduced transaction times from 45 days to 20 days. ICC aims to cut the transaction time further to 24 hours or even less.

“By 2022, a full functional TradeTrust digital utility will be developed and distributed as an open source. A first TradeTrust version prototype that provides proof of authenticity and provenance for electronic trade documents is already available and we are now conducting Proof of Concepts with partners,” the document added.

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