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Barclays Africa becomes the first organisation in the world to execute a live trade transaction using Wave Blockchain technology

Innovation in Blockchain trade finance deal

Barclays Africa becomes the first organisation in the world to execute a live trade transaction using Wave Blockchain technology


In what will take its place in the history books of the financial services and financial technology (FinTech) industry, Barclays executed the first ever live trade transaction using Blockchain technology in September 2016. The pilot with start-up Wave, Barclays UK and Barclays Seychelles marked a world first both in international trade and the Blockchain space – ultimately signifying the start of a new chapter in the Blockchain community, where experimentation is replaced with implementation.

The underlying trade flow, originated in the UK, involved a documentary letter of credit covering the shipment of dairy products between a Barclays Seychelles client, the Seychelles Trading Company as the importer, and Barclays UK client Ornua – formerly known as the Irish Dairy Board – as the exporter. What makes the deal so ground breaking is the fact that while the letter of credit was both issued and settled the traditional way, which is lengthy as a result of having to deal with multiple parties across jurisdictions, the actual trade documentation was submitted and sent using the Wave application with the ownership of the Bill of Lading on the Blockchain.

Wave comes with widespread advantages, perhaps the most critical of which are its simplicity, security and speed. Countless organisations have attempted to implement solutions that remove paper from the trade process. It has typically failed because digital documentation comes with the associated risk of lack of proof of origin and ownership. Multiple PDFs, for instance, can sent across the entire value chain, making it difficult to identify the original; Wave has addressed the issue through its use of distributed ledger technology.

As a result of its incorporation of distributed ledger technology, the Wave application allows all stakeholders on the supply chain to receive, send and track a digital Bill of Lading – a detailed receipt of a ship’s cargo – as well as upload and send related documentation.

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Lerato.Matsaneng@absa.co.za

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Elaine Bates

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