HSBC India and ING Bank Brussels have successfully executed a blockchain enabled, live trade finance transaction incorporating a letter of credit (L/C) jointly with Reliance Industries and Tricon Energy.

The bank says the transaction is an industry first because the blockchain platform integrated with Bolero's electronic bill of lading (eBL) platform to issue and manage an electronic bill of lading.

Digital transfer

The link between the two platforms allowed a digital transfer of the title of goods from the seller to the buyer in the underlying trade. This enabled the underlying trade to be fully digitised.

The end-to-end transaction was executed on R3's Corda blockchain platform, which is a single shared application, rather than one requiring multiple isolated digital systems across various counterparties.

The L/C in the transaction was issued by ING Bank for the importer, US-based Tricon Energy, with HSBC India as the advising and negotiating bank for the exporter, Reliance Industries of India.

Significant improvement

HSBC claims this latest blockchain solution is a significant improvement for any organisation involved in buying and selling goods internationally because it brings together all parties onto one platform.

The bank also claims the transaction validates the commercial and operational viability of blockchain as an alternative to conventional exchanges of paper-based documentation.

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