Blockchain Is “No Longer in Proof of Concept” Phase

by Steve Murphy 0

An appropriate subject from the GTR postings, highlighting the increasing visibility of blockchain-related technology across the industrial landscape as 2017 comes to a close. This particular piece is about a number of live transactions using BCT that are now starting to emanate from China and Australia. These cases relate to insurance, trade services and risk, where distributed ledger has a relatively natural fit.

In the past days, a number of trade and non-trade-related blockchain programmes have gone live, showing the functionality of the technology and feeding the widely-held view that 2018 will be the year in which it takes root commercially.“There are six to 10 blockchain projects in production in China. They’re just not announcing them yet. I can assure you that blockchain is no longer in proof of concept – many projects are in production,” says Paul Sin, Deloitte’s fintech consulting partner in Hong Kong.

A UK based startup, ModulTrade, is mentioned as being active in expanded use of BCT their trade platform, which uses a smart contract system and an Ethereum-based altcoin (MTRc).  Mercator Advisory Group recently released a blockchain topical Viewpoint research briefing about the appearance and expected wider scale adoption of BCT during the next two years, specifically related to use cases in the corporate banking space.  Certainly trade services is a primary use case for BCT, and an expected lynchpin for banks to collaborate on industrial strength commercial platforms.

Using ModulTrade’s platform, Guangzhou Fuilie Trading sold a 3D printer to a counterparty in Russia. The goods were shipped by China Post once the seller saw the funds had been launched on the smart contract. Upon successful delivery of the goods, the funds were automatically released to the seller.

 This piece also mentions the use of BCT for purpose of trade settlement through an Oz-based startup named AgriDigital.   This is another another point or use case that we make in the mentioned Viewpoint, more along the lines of cross-border payments. In this case it was not altcoin (cryptocurrency) used for the settlement, just plain old digital currency and automated cash release for direct goods; nor was it cross border, but the process of smart contract verification and auto-execution is applicable.

AgriDigital has successfully completed another proof of concept that brings its blockchain solution for commodities closer to production. The company teamed up with Rabobank to complete an inventory financing transaction on the blockchain that resulted in a real-time payment for farmers. The exercise tested whether the blockchain-based solution could facilitate a commodity purchase and sale transaction, with automated settlement.

So indeed we are moving forward and 2018 should bring some scalable commercial solutions in BCT.

Overview by Steve Murphy, Director, Commercial and Enterprise Payments Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group

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