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komgo SA: Banking and trading giants team up to digitize commodities trade finance using blockchain

Wed, 19 Sep 2018, 12:39 pm UTC

Major banking giants, trading companies, inspection company and an energy major have teamed up for a new venture with the aim of digitizing the trade and commodities finance sector through a blockchain based open platform.

Called “komgo SA,” the new company has been founded by ABN AMRO, BNP Paribas, Citi, Crédit Agricole Group, Gunvor, ING, Koch Supply & Trading, Macquarie, Mercuria, MUFG Bank, Natixis, Rabobank, Shell, SGS, and Societe Generale. It will be managed and operated as an independent entity and has been incorporated in Geneva.

“The launch of komgo SA highlights a shared vision for industry innovation and underlines the ongoing commitment among members to build a truly open and more efficient network within commodity trading,” said Souleïma Baddi, Chief Executive Officer of komgo SA.

Some of the founding members are also involved in another initiative called Vakt, which is focused on developing a blockchain-based post-trade processing platform for commodities. Noting this “strong overlap”, the two companies will explore synergies between both platforms moving forward.

According to the official release, the core team behind two successful blockchain Proofs of Concept (PoC) previously tested in energy and soft commodities trading have joined the new venture to develop a decentralised platform based on Ethereum blockchain. The platform will be developed in partnership with ConsenSys.

komgo SA will start with two products:

  • “The first one will standardize and facilitate KYC process without using a central database: the exchange of documents will be executed in an encrypted way over the blockchain on a need to know basis.
  • The second product will be digital letters of credit, allowing commodity houses or other platforms to submit digital trade data and documents to komgo SA customer banks of their choice.”

The products are expected to launch before the end of 2018.

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