Those following blockchain news may have heard that HSBC completed what it said was a first for the technology in its application in the trade finance space. But the lender wasn't the only major entity to make headway on its blockchain project. This week's Blockchain Tracker traces the latest news from LG, Bank of Canada, Deloitte and Mitsubishi, which all have their own news of progress on distributed ledger initiatives across payments, supply chain management and more.
Electronics maker LG is taking the reins in its blockchain focus via its CNS subsidiary, according to this week's reports in The Korea Times. LG CNS, the subsidiary that provides IT technology and services to the enterprise, has already launched its own blockchain service, dubbed "Monachain."
According to reports, the solution is part of LG's broader initiative to deepen its presence in the digital currency, authentication and supply chain management space as blockchain moves to disrupt them. Monachain uses what's called a decentralized identifier to verify a digital identity, while also facilitating users' development of their own financial services and digital wallets. Reports said LG is also preparing a digital currency business developed in collaboration with banks.
"Monachain can help business owners boost productivity as the company provides a digital supply chain management system that enables suppliers to manage the entire production processing efficiently," said LG CNS in a statement.
Bank of Canada
The Bank of Canada, Canada's central bank, has previously expressed doubt that blockchain could have a successful deployment in national payment systems. Even so, the Bank of Canada continues its collaboration with R3, Payments Canada and TMX Group on blockchain solutions, and this week the group announced its latest initiative to tokenize central bank assets.
Dubbed Project Jasper, the initiative is now in its third phase to focus on integrated payments and securities infrastructure. According to Payments Canada president and CEO Gerry Gaetz, their proof of concept proves it is possible to "deliver payments ... by directly swapping cash from buyers to sellers, resulting in instant settlements."
Deloitte lost its blockchain "guru," reports in Finance Magnates said this week, as Eric Piscini left the consultancy firm to join Citizens Reserve. According to reports, Piscini led the development of Deloitte's blockchain operations and plans to do the same for Citizens Reserve, a startup looking to raise $150 million as it focuses on interconnecting global supply chains using distributed ledger technology. For its solution, the company plans to use Ethereum and Quorum, the latter developed by JPMorgan, with reports pointing to Quorum's particular focus on compliance as a key asset to the startup's initiative.
Yet another blockchain pilot surfaced this week when Mitsubishi Corporation announced its subsidiaries in Thailand and Singapore will be collaborating with Bank of Thailand for a cross-border payments solution using RippleNet. A press release this week said Mitsubishi will be using the Bank of Thailand's Regulatory Sandbox Framework, making it the first Japanese company to use the tool, as it pilots a global payment solution. Along with MUFG Bank, Krungsri and Standard Chartered, Mitsubishi is exploring blockchain with a number of applications in corporate finance, including cash management and payments visibility.
The biggest blockchain headline of the week came from HSBC, which turned heads with what it claimed to be the first single-blockchain trade finance transaction. The lender completed the transaction with IMG for global commodities trader Cargill. HSBC said this was a first because of its ability to use a single application, not multiple systems, according to Reuters reports. HSBC has a particular focus on reducing organizations' and banks' reliance on letters of credit to facilitate more transparent trade finance transactions.