Financial innovation company R3 says its Voltron blockchain platform for letters of credit (L/Cs) will go into production in 2019.

R3, which leads a consortium of dozens of the world's largest financial institutions in the research and development of blockchain or distributed ledger solutions, says Voltron's launch will be preceded by a second pilot test.

Landmark transaction

In May, HSBC and ING executed their first commercial L/C transaction based on blockchain or distributed ledger technology.

The deal involved grain and agricultural commodity trader Cargill (DC World News, 14 May 2018) and Voltron was used to manage an L/C for a cargo of soybeans exported from Argentina to Malaysia.

L/C revolution

The platform is based on the Corda blockchain framework developed by 11 banks, including NatWest.

Head of trade services project management at NatWest, James Bidwell, told delegates at R3's CordaCon conference earlier this month that today's technologies are ushering in "probably the first development in L/Cs for 250 years".

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