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IBM Eyes Blockchain Trade Finance In India

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IBM has been vocal about its support for and faith in blockchain technology in recent months. In September, the technology conglomerate said blockchain is headed for mainstream adoption, predicting that towards the end of 2017, 15 percent of top banks around the globe will be running solutions built on distributed ledgers.

In India, IBM is hoping to promote that mainstream adoption of blockchain with multinational company Mahindra, which operates Mahindra Finance. On Wednesday (Nov. 30), reports said IBM and Mahindra are developing a blockchain-based trade finance solution to offer banks in the country. The cloud-based tool will look to facilitate trade finance transactions between buyers and suppliers, reports said, and could overhaul trade finance for SMEs in particular.

In a statement, Mahindra Group president for strategy Anish Shah said the companies have already completed a proof of concept that “represents a significant step forward in blockchain, still a new technology, a more compelling and efficient supply chain solution for Mahindra Finance’s small and mid-sized enterprise loan business.”

“Blockchain is poised to revolutionize business like the Internet did, and IBM is at the forefront of the revolution,” added IBM’s global business services managing partner Lula Mohanty in another statement. “The work with Mahindra has the potential to fundamentally transform the way businesses interact with one another and their customers and suppliers, and we’re confident that this engagement can be replicated not just in the finance industry but across other sectors as well.”

According to the companies, they will explore other use cases for blockchain including applications for Mahindra’s car and tractor manufacturing operations.

IBM began accelerating its focus on blockchain last year when reports emerged that the company was developing its own distributed ledger tool with plans to offer it as open-sourced software to developers. At the time, IBM pointed to the potential for blockchain to overhaul digital smart contracts as one of its use cases.

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