Blockchain takes back seat in drive to digitize Asian trade finance
Singapore-based trade finance portal CamelOne has put blockchain on the backburner to get to market more quickly.
CamelOne is a multi-bank portal designed to support trade finance applications from companies for all participating banks.
But unlike other trade finance platforms such as we.trade and Komgo, CamelOne is not built on blockchain – perhaps surprising, given Euromoney reported earlier this year that more than 30 groups of banks and other financial institutions are working on systems for incorporating distributed ledger technology into trade finance.
John Khaw, project director at vCargo Cloud, the company that developed the technology behind the portal, explains that concern over connectivity between the nine participating banks – ANZ, BNP Paribas, DBS Bank, HSBC, ICBC, MUFG Bank, OCBC, Standard Chartered Bank and UOB – was behind the decision to proceed without distributed ledger technology.
“We still believe there is value to be unlocked by adopting blockchain,” he says. “We are currently working with some strategic partners on trade-related projects that are using blockchain technology and we will consider integrating blockchain into future versions of the portal.”
However, Khaw says that although there are solutions that facilitate interconnectivity across different platforms, these solutions are still relatively new and that when working in conjunction with so many partner banks, reliable interconnectivity is crucial.