Standard Chartered launches blockchain trade platform with Chinese fintech

The joint venture operating the new blockchain-powered platform will be headquartered in Singapore and led by SC Ventures’ Amelia Ng as CEO.

United Kingdom-based multinational banking firm Standard Chartered has launched a blockchain-powered trade finance platform through a joint venture with Chinese supply chain finance technology provider Linklogis.

Dubbed Olea, the platform will aim to meet the needs of institutional investors that are “seeking opportunities in an alternative asset class with businesses requiring supply chain financing,” according to a report from The Korea Herald published on Monday.

The joint venture operating the platform will be headquartered in Singapore, where Ng from Standard Chartered’s SC Ventures will lead as its CEO. Letitia Chau, vice chairman and chief risk officer of Linklogis, will serve as deputy CEO.

Standard Chartered became Linklogis’ first global bank investor in 2020, one year after the two entities had signed a memorandum of understanding to jointly explore and develop solutions for the supply chain finance ecosystem. The bank has previously worked with China-based fintech leaders that include Alipay owner Ant Group, whose Antchain-based global trade platform, Trusple, has been used by Standard Chartered, Citi, DBS Bank, Deutsche Bank and many others.

Olea is reportedly expected to help Standard Chartered raise its profile in global digital trade finance, and the choice to implement a blockchain infrastructure continues the bank’s ongoing engagement with the technology. Other multinational banks that have tapped blockchain for trade finance specifically include HSBC, BNP Paribas and Citi, whose joint platform was readied for commercial launch in Singapore in the second quarter of 2020.

Related: Trade finance: The latest industry to boost DLT adoption amid COVID-19

Standard Chartered has itself previously collaborated on using blockchain for trade finance with many of these same banks through the eTrade Connect blockchain trade finance platform launched in Hong Kong in 2018.

That same year, the digital trade finance platform We.trade — which counts HSBC, Rabobank, Santander, Societe Generale, UniCredit, Deutsche Bank and others as founder banks — collaborated with the Hyperledger Fabric-powered IBM blockchain to complete its first live operations. 

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