Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) together with Mitsui & Co., Ltd. accomplished a proof-of-concept trial on ‘Marco Polo’, a blockchain platform for trade finance built by R3 LLC
Japanese multinational bank and the second largest bank in the country, the Sumitomo Mitsui Bank, published a news release announcing the completion of the R3 platform trial. SMBC, the only Japan-based bank partaking in the Marco Polo trial, partnered with Mitsui & Co., Japan’s leading sogo shosha, to augment the efficiency of its trade operations.
The PoC carried out between the two entities ‘aims to improve productivity in its trade operations, by testing modules such as Receivable Finance and Payment Commitment (Payment Undertaking),’ the release reads.
After verifying the PoC, SMBC ‘expects to commercialize’ R3’s trade finance platform, Marco Polo, within the fiscal year’s first half.
Marco Polo and Corda
Marco Polo was set into motion last 2017. It is the fruit of a joint effort by blockchain consortium R3 and DLT-powered Irish company TradeIX. It has the capability to ‘accommodate additional modules’ for ease of access and paperless, instantaneous connectivity.
15 R3 consortium member banks are participating in the Marco Polo trial. Among the banks are BNP Paribas, ING., Bangkok Bank, and NatWest.
Last month, Gottfried Leibbrandt, Chief Operating Officer of SWIFT, revealed the plan to integrate R3’s Corda with SWIFT. SWIFT is testing the platform for PoC GPI Link. The Corda Network, which began in 2015, counts more than 300 financial institutions as its members.