Letter of credit (L/C) and trade finance applications using blockchain or distributed ledger technologies featured prominently at a recent conference dedicated to blockchain and cryptocurrencies.

Participants included Sberbank, which has demonstrated a pioneering spirit in terms of L/C usage over recent years.

Conference focus

The Blockchain and Bitcoin Conference in Moscow gathered together 750 blockchain experts and practitioners from Russia, Europe, the US and Africa.

The conference focused on the banking sector and included discussions on L/C processing using blockchain, along with the use of the new technology in other trade finance offerings and internal banking processes.

Participants also discussed legal issues associated with migrating systems to distributed ledger technology.

Pioneering bank

Delegates included representatives from Sberbank, Alfa-Bank and Sovcombank.

Sberbank has been at the forefront of Russian L/C developments recently. Nearly two years ago it issued its first yuan denominated L/Cs, becoming Russia's first bank to do so (DC World News, 8 June 2015).

Last year Sberbank introduced its new unsecured L/C with advance payment offering and reported that L/C business was booming, with the bank seeing the largest growth in settlements using internal Russian L/Cs denominated in rubles (DC World News, 18 April 2017).

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