As the dust settles around a steady stream of positive blockchain buzz from major banks, a consensus on use cases that major institutions believe the technology can be applied to is beginning to emerge.
One of the more often-heralded use cases is international trade, with institutions having presented a willingness to back efforts related to supply chain, using the technology to secure a chain of custody for physical goods, as well as trade finance – the process by which the movement of these goods is financed as part of the delivery process.
So far, IBM has openly touted the supply chain use case, while blockchain startup Wave is working with Barclays on a trial that would find the major UK bank experimenting with digitizing pen-and-paper supply chain processes.
First revealed in December, Standard Chartered recently announced it is working with the Development Bank of Singapore ( DBS) to tackle trade finance. Now, the two companies are seeking to expand their work to include the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), the government’s IT and communications arm, and other banks.
While big global banks are increasing bullish on ‘blockchain’, it has been less clear what specific technologies these institutions are referring to when they use the term.
To date, major financial institutions are mostly experimenting with the technology in closed-door consortium settings, and even when announcements are made, there is often an emphasis on the use case rather than the underlying technology powering the trial.
However, there seems to be growing acknowledgement among major financial firms that the distributed ledger technology offered by Ripple is gaining appeal, with Standard Chartered revealing it is using both the startup’s tech and its consultancy services. Also involved is global information technology firm CGI Group, which announced a partnership with Ripple in October 2015.
The news follows an announcement last Thursday from Royal Bank of Canada, which unveiled it has been trialing Ripple’s technology for remittances with the help of ‘big four’ professional services firm Deloitte.