Latest International Trade News

  • Major Asian bank issues credit on SCB-backed blockchain
    Major Asian bank issues credit on SCB-backed blockchain
    Blockchain is helping companies from Vietnam and Thailand settle trades more smoothly. The Asian Development Bank (ADB), headquartered in the Philippines, has settled its first letter of credit (LC) transaction using the Standard Chartered-backed Contour blockchain network. The trade was a part of ADB’s trade and supply chain program and involved Standard Chartered and the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam. ADB’s trade settlement also marked the first blockchain-based cross-border LC transaction between Vietnam and Thailand.  According to a Global Trade Review report, the trade involved a $50,000 plastics shipment sent from Thailand’s SCG Plastics Co Ltd to Vietnam’s Opec Plastics Joint Stock Company. Although ADB did not specifically mention how blockchain added to the efficiency of the trade settlement, Steven Beck, the bank’s head of trade and supply chain finance, said that the use of blockchain has made trade more efficient while reducing risk and lowering the barriers to entry for small and medium-sized businesses in developing parts of Asia. Social distancing measures implemented worldwide due to the ongoing pandemic has proven the importance of trade digitization, driving many major entities involved in international trade and supply chain to implement blockchain in a bid to digitize operations, set aside paperwork and resume business. The London-based multinational banking firm Standard Chartered also conducted the first blockchain-based trade in Bangaladesh, introducing the South Asian country to blockchain innovation. Cointelegraph previously reported that Australia’s National Blockchain Lead Chloe White from the Department of Industry had suggested that blockchain could help combat food and wine fraud that costs the country almost $1.7 billion every year.
  • Blockchain can shield banks from billion-dollar trade finance scandals, says exec
    Blockchain can shield banks from billion-dollar trade finance scandals, says exec
    Blockchain can help the trade finance industry prevent billion-dollar scandals and ease trade financing, says expert. The pressure induced by the ongoing economic crisis, obsolete trade finance systems and mounting geopolitical tensions is pushing the international trade finance industry down a rabbit hole.  To add to the already critical situation, recent trade finance scandals involving major players such as Hin Leong, ZenRock, Agritrade and Hontop Energy amounted to a loss of almost $6 billion that was mostly borne by banks.  To limit their exposure to such threats, major banks like ABN Amro, Société Générale and BNP Paribas have withdrawn completely from this sector while others have raised the bar on their funding processes, said Samir Neji, founder and CEO of blockchain-based trade finance company dltledgers. Neji told Cointelegraph, "For traders and other businesses moving goods around the world, working capital is now much harder to come by.
  • Nigeria’s Foreign Currency Crisis Boon for Bitcoin: Country Tops Wallet Downloads Ahead of the US
    Nigeria’s Foreign Currency Crisis Boon for Bitcoin: Country Tops Wallet Downloads Ahead of the US
    Nigeria’s weakening naira currency, as well as the shortage of US dollars, are forcing businesses to switch to bitcoin as the means of settling payments for international transactions.