Spanish banking giant BBVA has successfully piloted a blockchain solution for paperless trade transactions between Europe and Latin America.
The blockchain pilot, built on the Wave platform, was carried out to automate the electronic submission of documents for an actual sale transaction between Mexico and Spain in a move to speed up the time required for sending, checking and authorizing cross-border trades.
The trial saw the time taken for document verification reduced from 7–10 days to 2.5 hours.
According to Patxi Fernández de Trocóniz, head of global trade at BBVA, the blockchain pilot marks a "leap forward" for effective international trade transactions.
"The time it takes to manage the documentation was reduced to a process that lasted just a few hours, in which all parties – the banks, the importer and the exporter – were constantly aware of the status of the documents."
The payment of the transaction was carried out using a letter of credit for the transport of 25 tons of frozen tuna, bought from Mexico by a company in Barcelona.
Utilizing blockchain for foreign trade allows the creation of a "safe and digital environment ... as the foundation for a global foreign trade marketplace," says BBVA Bancomer Corporate Banking and Governance head of strategy, Jorge Zebadúa.
The blockchain pilot forms part of BBVA's effort to digitize aspects of finance with the use of nascent technologies like blockchain, the release added.
The bank has been investigating blockchain tech for some time, and made its entrance into the Hyperledger blockchain consortium this March, joining 100-plus startups and businesses already involved in the enterprise-focused project.