Three things to know
Once again there is another full week of Blockchain news from around the world. Global financial institutions are accelerating Blockchain application and new consortiums are being formed to develop Blockchain. Outside of financial services, Blockchain is being put to use in energy, entertainment, and the military. This week our focus is on the new consortium being formed by global insurers, money transfer in the UAE, and application to commodities trading.
Starting in Munich, five insurers have joined forces to launch B3i, or the Blockchain Insurance Industry Initiative. Aegon, Allianz, Munich Re, Swiss Re, and Zurich believe Blockchain can enable digital contracts and multiple-party transactions to be done with greater transparency, more secure, and with a verifiable audit trail. To this point, insurance has generally lagged banks in developing Blockchain. Perhaps consortiums such as this can accelerate development throughout the industry.
In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the bank Emirates NBD is piloting Blockchain with ICIC Bank in India to facilitate trade finance. The pilot is testing the potential for Blockchain to automate inter-bank processes and provide secure document transfer. Numerous times in the past month, I have talked to people who believe trade finance is among the functions that is most suitable for Blockchain. We should expect to see more announcements of trade finance pilot programs in the coming months.
Jumping to Switzerland, Mercuria, one of the world’s largest commodity traders believes Blockchain can be applied to reduce the costs of oil trading by 30.0%. CEO Marco Dunand believes the oil trading market can shift to Blockchain payments within the next 12 months. In my view, 12 months is a very aggressive time frame, but Mercuria has the resources and the will to make it happen.
Each week more initiatives are announced. Some in the industry have referred to 2016 as the “year of the proof of concept”, a description that seems appropriate. They also refer to 2017 as the year of live applications. So far, both descriptions appear to be accurate.
Insurers and reinsurers launch Blockchain initiative B3i
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Emirates NBD pilots blockchain-based money transfers
Mercuria Chief: Blockchain Could Cut Oil Market Costs by 30%
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Dun & Bradstreet Tests Blockchain for Trade Finance
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Walmart and IBM will use blockchain to track pork from China
Korean Credit Card Giant to Integrate Blockchain Identity Service
Fintech: Fujitsu using blockchain to develop tech-savvy method of handling confidential data
Two More Indian Banks Conduct Blockchain Pilot Transactions
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ADX launches blockchain for e-voting service, the first to its kind in MENA region financial markets
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