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IBM’s Blockchain Lands At Japan’s Mizuho For Trade Finance

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IBM’s blockchain technology has landed at yet another financial institution, this time in Japan for the purpose of facilitating trade finance transactions.

Recent reports said Japan’s Mizuho Financial Group and its subsidiary bank are teaming with IBM Japan to build a blockchain-based platform for trade finance. According to Mizuho, the technology can enable greater efficiency in supply chain management and trading operations.

Multiple entities — including buyers, suppliers, logistics companies, insurance firms, port authorities and other participants in the global supply chain — can all collaborate on the platform to share trade shipment information. Banks of these entities will also be able to release and transfer funds based on the progress of trade, the bank explained.

“The Mizuho Financial Group and Mizuho Bank’s project marks an important step in using blockchain technology for actual operations in trade finance,” said IBM Japan Managing Director of Industry Sales, Masao Sanbe, in a statement. “In working with global trade networks to digitize documentation and processes, IBM recognizes the potential of blockchain to help streamline financial trade services.”

The platform will use IBM’s Hyperledger Fabric, hosted by the Hyperledger Project, and facilitate the digitization of letters of credit and other traditionally paper-based documents involved in cross-border B2B trade. Mizuho will be the financier for the transactions, with the platform expected to be up and working this June.

According to reports, Mizuho has already been working with IBM on a number of blockchain-related projects, including the development of its own digital currency.

In 2014, Mizuho inked a deal to outsource supply chain finance operations to PrimeRevenue.

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