As the competition to revolutionize the trade financing space using blockchain is getting fierce, more and more players are joining blockchain consortiums.

Recently, the French corporate and investment bank Natixis announced that it has joined R3-led trade finance network Marco Polo.

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Last year, R3, an enterprise software firm developing blockchain-based products, along with trade finance technology firm TradeIX launched Marco Polo to disrupt the $40 trillion trade financing industry. The firms also partnered with multiple major financial institutions around the world to mould the development based on the practical needs and test it in real-time.

Natixis joined the group of banks which includes names like BNP Paribas, Commerzbank, ING, Standard Chartered Bank, Bangkok Bank, SMBC, DNB and OP Financial Group.

Commenting on the move, Anne-Cécile Delas, Natixis’ Global Head of Global Transaction Banking, said: “We are delighted to become a member of the Marco Polo network and offer trade and supply chain finance solutions leveraging blockchain technology. This initiative belongs to Natixis’ continuous transformation plan, which is putting digital technology and innovation at the core of its strategy to improve the experience of its clients.”

Natixis is also betting on R3’s blockchain-based cross-border payment transfer system and is a part of that consortium too.

“We look forward to active collaboration with the other key members of the initiative and believe that there will be significant opportunity to synergistically drive the adoption of blockchain and new trade solutions in the trade finance market,” he continued.

Adding more and more banks

Moreover, around a week earlier, Bangkok Bank, one of Thailand’s largest commercial bank, joined the Marco Polo initiative.

Marco Polo is based on R3’s native Corda platform. The infrastructures provided by it is focusing on open account trade finance orchestrations with data matching, designed to be integrated with trade networks.

“Blockchain’s potential to transform the trade finance ecosystem has always been clear. With the Marco Polo network on our Corda platform, we are moving forward from potential to reality. We are pleased to welcome Natixis on board,” said David E. Rutter, CEO of R3.

R3 and TradeIX are focusing on adding more and more banks to the program so that it can expand its reach in the vast industry and offer a better service to their clients.

Earlier in February, the firm involved in the project launched Marco Polo’s first pilot project.

“We are very pleased that Natixis has joined the Marco Polo network. This should be a signal that there is broad agreement in this sector that crosses some significant strategic and organizational boundaries about collaboration, leveraging new technologies and to provide standards and best practices in the traditionally fragmented regional trade finance space,” said Daniel Cotti, CFO and Bank Partner Relationships at TradeIX.

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