Israel-based Startup Wave And Barclays, Claim To Have Made The First Blockchain Global Trade Transaction

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Barclays Bank and accelerator graduate Wave have executed a live Letter of Credit transaction between Ornua – the Irish Dairy Board – and Seychelles Trading Company on a Blockchain system.

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Wave is one of eleven companies to have come through the Barclays Accelerator programme in New York last summer, and has since been working with the bank in the UK and South Africa to explore various use cases for its technology.

The Wave platform uses distributed ledger technology to ensure that all parties can see, transfer title and transmit shipping documents and other original trade documentation through a secure decentralised network, eliminating many of the current inefficiencies in international trade.

Barclays believes the system could speed up trade transactions, reduce costs for companies around the world and reduce the risk of documentary fraud. The bank says it has identified substantial direct cost savings that can be made on courier costs alone using the Wave system, and it could also bring down the time taken to complete an end-to-end trade finance transaction from days to a few hours.

Baihas Baghdadi, global head of trade & working capital at Barclays, says:

“One of the biggest headaches in global trade currently is the vast movement of paper required to facilitate transactions, with multiple organisations in the chain. That is why we’ve been very keen to partner with Wave in using Blockchain technology to save time and money for our clients, and potentially transform trade finance for businesses around the world.”
The paper-intensive trade finance business has been identified as a key area in which a combination of distributed ledger technology and smart contracts can be used to overcome market inefficiencies.

Barclays says it is seeking to involve other banks in supporting adoption of Wave’s system, with the hope that this can develop into an industry wide improvement in how trade documentation is managed.

However, Wave is not the only game in town. Last month, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, HSBC and the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore claimed success in demonstrating the application of distributed ledgers to replace paper-based Letters of Credit in trade finance transactions.

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About Richard Kastelein

Founder and publisher of industry publication Blockchain News (EST 2015), a partner at ICO services collective Token.Agency ($750m+ and 90+ ICOs and STOs), director of education company Blockchain Partners (Oracle Partner) – Vancouver native Richard Kastelein is an award-winning publisher, innovation executive and entrepreneur. He sits on the advisory boards of some two dozen Blockchain startups and has written over 1500 articles on Blockchain technology and startups at Blockchain News and has also published pioneering articles on ICOs in Harvard Business Review and Venturebeat. Irish Tech News put him in the top 10 Token Architects in Europe.

Kastelein has an Ad Honorem - Honorary Ph.D. and is Chair Professor of Blockchain at China's first Blockchain University in Nanchang at the Jiangxi Ahead Institute of Software and Technology. In 2018 he was invited to and attended University of Oxford's Saïd Business School for Business Automation 4.0 programme.  Over a half a decade experience judging and rewarding some 1000+ innovation projects as an EU expert for the European Commission's SME Instrument programme as a startup assessor and as a startup judge for the UK government's Innovate UK division.

Kastelein has spoken (keynotes & panels) on Blockchain technology in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona, Beijing, Brussels, Bucharest, Dubai, Eindhoven, Gdansk, Groningen, the Hague, Helsinki, London (5x), Manchester, Minsk, Nairobi, Nanchang, Prague, San Mateo, San Francisco, Santa Clara (2x), Shanghai, Singapore (3x), Tel Aviv, Utrecht, Venice, Visakhapatnam, Zwolle and Zurich.

He is a Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Métis) whose writing career has ranged from the Canadian Native Press (Arctic) to the Caribbean & Europe. He's written occasionally for Harvard Business Review, Wired, Venturebeat, The Guardian and Virgin.com, and his work and ideas have been translated into Dutch, Greek, Polish, German and French. A journalist by trade, an entrepreneur and adventurer at heart, Kastelein's professional career has ranged from political publishing to TV technology, boatbuilding to judging startups, skippering yachts to marketing and more as he's travelled for nearly 30 years as a Canadian expatriate living around the world. In his 20s, he sailed around the world on small yachts and wrote a series of travel articles called, 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Seas' travelling by hitching rides on yachts (1989) in major travel and yachting publications. He currently lives in Groningen, Netherlands where he's raising three teenage daughters with his wife and sailing partner, Wieke Beenen.

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