Blockchain letter of credit (L/C) application consortium Voltron has grown to include more than 50 banks and corporates following the completion of trials.

The trials involved simulating multiple digital L/C transactions across 27 countries on six continents.

Successful trial

The consortium is focused on developing an industry utility to provide a digital, end-to-end and simplified documentary trade solution for banks and corporates.

According to the consortium, 96 per cent of participants in the trial said Voltron will accelerate their L/C processing, improve efficiencies and reduce costs.

Significant time saving

Built on R3's Corda blockchain platform, the Voltron initiative uses blockchain technology to reduce the time it takes to execute the entire paper-based L/C process from 5-10 days to under 24 hours.

Participants in the latest six-week Voltron trial included ABN Amro, CommerzBank, Commercial Bank of Qatar, National Bank of Egypt, Standard Bank and Société Générale.

The trial was facilitated by a partnership of Bain, CryptoBLK and R3 on Microsoft's Azure cloud platform.

End-to-end L/C digitisation

Blockchain initiative lead for trade finance at Voltron founding member ING, Chris Sunderman, says the trial "ensures a better understanding of the possibilities and benefits of Voltron: the end-to-end digitisation of L/Cs."

"This will help in broadening the support base of Voltron and it will grow a larger and geographically well spread network of banks to adopt it, enabling an increased number of transactions in the production phase," he added.

This article represents the views of the author and not necessarily those of the ICC or Coastline Solutions.