Trade Finance Blockchain Marco Polo Pilots First Russia-Germany Transactions

Marco Polo, the trade finance blockchain with over 20 global banks on board, is piloting its first trading arrangement between Germany and Russia.

AccessTimeIconOct 11, 2019 at 6:30 p.m. UTC
Updated May 9, 2023 at 3:03 a.m. UTC
10 Years of Decentralizing the Future
May 29-31, 2024 - Austin, TexasThe biggest and most established global event for everything crypto, blockchain and Web3.Register Now

Marco Polo, the trade finance blockchain with more than 20 global banks on board, is piloting its first trading arrangement between Germany and Russia.

The pilot announced Friday involves Alfa-Bank and Novolipetsk Steel Company (NLMK) on the Russian side and Commerzbank plus metals engineering firm Vesuvius GmbH in Germany.

  • Rep. French Hill 'Rejects' Gensler's Argument Ahead of FIT21 Vote
    14:50
    Rep. French Hill 'Rejects' Gensler's Argument Ahead of FIT21 Vote
  • Donald Trump-Themed Meme Coins Are Breeding Crypto Millionaires
    01:04
    Donald Trump-Themed Meme Coins Are Breeding Crypto Millionaires
  • SEC's Gensler Pushes Back Against House Bill; Crypto Exchanges Form Coalition to Tackle Scams
    01:40
    SEC's Gensler Pushes Back Against House Bill; Crypto Exchanges Form Coalition to Tackle Scams
  • Former SEC Senior Trial Counsel on Spot Ether ETF Approval Outlook
    12:10
    Former SEC Senior Trial Counsel on Spot Ether ETF Approval Outlook
  • Marco Polo, a joint undertaking between technology firms TradeIX and R3, has a grand vision of global blockchain-based trade finance replacing paper and trust with shared, instant digital verification. 

    The array of banks on Marco Polo reflect this global aspiration: Bank of America, BNP Paribas, Commerzbank, ING, LBBW, Anglo-Gulf Trade Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Natixis, Bangkok Bank, SMBC, Danske Bank, NatWest, DNB, OP Financial Group, Alfa-Bank, Bradesco, BayernLB, Helaba, S-Servicepartner, Raiffeisen Bank International, Standard Bank, Credit Agricole and National Bank of Fujairah.

    The teams involved in the Russia-Germany pilot are by no means enterprise blockchain neophytes. 

    “We launched our first distributed ledger technology in trade finance as early as 2017. Since then, corporate blockchain solutions have been considerably elaborated, and earned our clients’ confidence and proved their applicability to real business processes,” said Dina Merkulova, head of trade finance at Alfa-Bank.

    A long journey

    In contrast to the live and kicking European SME-focused trade finance blockchain we.trade, Marco Polo is taking a measured and methodical journey to production. 

    Previously, the 22-bank blockchain consortium added the capability for a third party in a trade (a logistics provider, for example) to trigger a payment to a supplier at the moment goods are shipped. This milestone work also involved Commerzbank with LBBW shepherding a trade between engineering technology firm Voith and KSB SE.

    Enno-Burghard Weitzel, Commerzbank’s global head of trade finance products, said in a statement: 

    “Our international corporates show continuous interest in piloting the Marco Polo Payment Commitment together with us and banks of our global network, like Alfa-Bank. Marco Polo network, meets our customers’ growing demand for increased speed of transaction and transparency, optimized financing, enhanced working capital management and possible integration of ERP systems.”

    At the recent Sibos conference in London, representatives from Marco Polo and we.trade shared a panel. Asked if conversations around interoperability had started yet between the two camps, which build on R3 Corda and Hyperladger Fabric, respectively, Daniel Cotti, managing director at Marco Polo and TradeIX, said:

    “In global trade, we are used to collaborating.”

    From right: Ciaran McGowan, head of we.trade; Agnes Joly, head of trade service at SocGen; Daniel Cotti, managing director, Marco Polo/TradeIX; Mira Skrzypczak, head of working capital products, RBS; Alisa DiCaprio, head of research and global trade strategy, R3. Image from Sibos 2019 in London via Ian Allison for CoinDesk.

    Disclosure

    Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

    CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.


    Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk's longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to consensus.coindesk.com to register and buy your pass now.