ING Group, the Dutch multinational banking and financial services corporation, is bullish on blockchain technology and the innovations it presents to trade and commodity finance.
The group is focusing on and looking forward to blockchain-based initiatives across several sectors including energy, crude oil, soybeans, metals and mining in 2019.
They have been exploring distributed ledger technology (DLT) on their Easy Trading Connect (ETC) platform since 2017 and found that the innovations led by blockchain are far superior to centralized models.
ING highlighted these findings regarding powerhouse programs such as Komgo and Vakt via Twitter:
Distributed Ledger Technologies (#DLT) are disrupting the #financial industry and make processes more efficient and secure. Let’s take a brief moment to look back on ING’s 2018 achievements in this area. #blockchain #innovation #fintech pic.twitter.com/vT30euwVZN
— ING (@ING_news) December 27, 2018
ING Bets on Vakt, Not Bakkt
As you may already know, the blockchain and crypto sphere has been excited about potential Bitcoin ETFs and the launch of Bakkt, a physically-settled Bitcoin futures exchange from the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE).
While these impending developments are worth getting excited about, ING has their eyes on other innovative blockchain initiatives surrounding trade and commodity finance. One such initiative is Vakt.
Vakt is a post trade management platform with a vision to digitize the global commodities trading industry by offering a secure and trusted ecosystem powered by blockchain. The platform has the potential to revolutionize the commodities trading market by transforming the trade life cycle and streamlining transactions.
The Vakt platform gets its backing from major energy consortiums, high profile independent traders and top tier banks. Vakt also has strategic alliances with Deloitte and Softworks and by the end of the year, they will link the platform to Komgo for commodity trade finance.
As per the company’s announcement of the launch:
Though the initial launch is limited to trade specifically in BFOET crude oil contracts, VAKT’s ambition is to extend the platform to all physically traded energy commodities. The company is building its roadmap in response to industry need but has US crude oil pipelines and Northern Europe refined product barges slated for launch in early 2019.
Other Blockchain Initiatives
ING’s program director for blockchain innovation in trade and commodity finance, Arnoud Star Busmann, said a collaboration with heavyweight leaders in the industry sector have formed an Ethereum-based blockchain for real-time settlement of physical energy transactions.
A report on the experimental trading technology said:
The experiment showed that the average time for a bank to complete its role in a transaction went from about three hours to just 25 minutes. For traders, efficiency went up by a third, with user experience evaluations far higher than expected. As the prototype uses blockchain technology and is designed for paperless trade, the risks throughout the process have also been reduced.
This Ethereum-based platform mentioned in the above quote was used in the agriculture industry in a pilot test moving soybeans from the US to China.
ING is also exploring supply chain traceability for metals and mining. The innovations and use cases for blockchain technology are endless and blockchain initiatives are really being put to the test.
ING is at the forefront of the blockchain revolution and is focusing on many blockchain initiatives going into 2019. Things like Bakkt and Bitcoin ETFs don’t even scratch the surface to what’s going on in the space.
Going into 2019, the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry has a lot to look forward to as businesses, governments, and individuals become comfortable with the innovations of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies.
What do you think about enterprise business and institutions experimenting and implementing blockchain technology? Will this lead to the adoption of cryptocurrencies as well? Let us know what you think in the comment section below.