The chief executive officer (CEO) of Contour, the blockchain based open trade finance network formerly known as Voltron, has shared his views with the Reuters news agency on a blockchain transaction executed earlier this year between global miner Rio Tinto and China's Nanjing Iron & Steel.

Carl Wegner said blockchain has the capacity to significantly speed up letter of credit (L/C) processing and he expects miners will increasingly look to digitalise their trade financing operations.

Faster processing

The process of issuing digital L/Cs via blockchain technology was 90 per cent faster than obtaining paper L/Cs Wegner told the news agency.

Contour's CEO also said he anticipated increasing interest in blockchain based trade amongst mills and miners.

At the forefront

Miners, along with commodity traders, have been at the forefront of live trials of blockchain supported L/C transactions.

Rio Tinto and trader Cargill, supported by HSBC Singapore and BNP Paribas, successfully completed in late 2019 the first fully integrated paperless L/C transaction in iron ore (DC World News, 1 November 2019).

The global miner's latest transaction with Nanjing was the first blockchain transaction for the Chinese iron and steel company.

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