by Helen Sanders, Editor
Blockchain has appeared on the treasury horizon in a relatively indistinct form over the past eighteen months or so: indeed, so hazy and illusory the vision of solutions to come, some might consider them a mirage. For the first time at this year’s Sibos, however, practical and demonstrable solutions are taking shape, with concrete plans for their introduction.
One of the most noteworthy announcements in this respect is the collaboration between Bank of America Merrill Lynch to process trade finance transactions using Microsoft’s Azure Blockchain as a Service technology. Trade finance is one of the most logical banking services on which to focus blockchain initiatives – and certainly one where the greatest demand exists, given that manual, costly and time-consuming trade finance transactions can severely interrupt and delay import and export processes. This leads to goods held on container ships for days or weeks, unpredictable supply, uncertain cash flows and poses a major obstacle to growth.