Commonwealth Bank Claims Success in Global Trade Blockchain Test


The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) has announced the completion of a cross-border shipment that utilized blockchain to track goods in the supply chain.

The multinational giant and also one of Australia’s ‘Big Four’ banks said in a statement on Monday that some 37,000 pounds of almonds were shipped from Australia to Germany and were tracked via a private blockchain platform developed by the bank on top of the ethereum network.

Participating nodes of the blockchain system included key parties along the supply chain such as agriculture producer Olam Orchards, logistic carriers as well as port operator Patrick Terminals and Port of Melbourne.

The CBA said the blockchain-based system stores data of containers, documents and financial transactions on a distributed network. As such, different partners can view and track information about the shipment in real-time and simultaneously, such as the shipment’s status as well as the temperature and humidity of the containers.

“This level of data provided partners in the supply chain with a greater level of transparency and efficiency regarding the location, condition and authentication of the goods being transported,” the bank said in the release.

Olam Orchards’ supply chain manager Emma Roberts commented in the announcement:

“Trade inefficiency can be extremely detrimental to our business. It is vital that as an industry, we look at emerging technology for ways to enhance the supply chain to develop a more transparent and efficient platform.”

The news follows the banking giant’s previous work to test a blockchain system for tracking cross-border shipments of cotton in real-time through a partnership with Wells Fargo. Last year, the CBA also revealed a plan to issue a bond over a blockchain system.

The bank’s overall effort to adopt blockchain is part of its wider push for technology advancement. In early 2017, the CBA said it aimed to spend close to $1 billion on technology development in 2017, including a continuous investment on blockchain.

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