Russia’s Alfa-Bank Becomes a Member of HSBC-Supported Blockchain Trade Finance Network
Alfa-Bank, one of the renowned Russian commercial banks, has partnered a blockchain trade finance network supported by HSBC.
As per media news issued on November 3, Alfa-Bank is the foremost Russian bank to turn into a member of Contour, a blockchain platform linking the world’s top financial institutions such as ING, HSBC and Citi. The network permits bank clients to monitor the handling and amendment of trade funding dealings and slash operational expenses.
Evgenia Fomina, chief of the Alfa-Bank lending directorate, stated that trials using Contour platform in the Russian market aim to enhance the quality of trans-border trades stating:
“The accession to the Contour platform and launch of the pilot projects on the Russian market will fine-tune the strategy of development of products for transborder transactions. Customer requests become more complex, and we are always seeking to offer the best solutions.”
Previously referred to as “Voltron,” Contour was primarily created to draft and disburse letters of credit using Corda blockchain developed by R3. The project was launched in 2018 by R3 and eight international banks, including HSBC, Citi, ING, Bangkok Bank, Standard Chartered, BNP Paribas, SEB and CTBC.
Even though the venture was started two years back, the Contour network became active only last month. As per Global Trade Review, last month, Contour was out of the beta stage, which began early this year.
On November 1, the Bangladesh branch of multinational banking institution HSBC revealed the successful completion of LC transaction using blockchain based Contour platform, the first of its kind in the country.
Contour CEO Carl Wegner stated that Alfa-Bank’s entry into the ecosystem signals another landmark for the venture. Wegner said “Their involvement will continue to build an inclusive network that will improve trade across the globe.”
It is not the first-time Alfa-Bank, having its head-office in Moscow, has taken initiatives to implement blockchain technology. The bank is one of the members of top blockchain consortium R3 for the past two years.
Last October, Alfa-Bank rolled out a trial via R3s Marco Polo Network to trial trans-border payments between Germany and Russia. Earlier, Alfa-Bank unveiled a liquidity administration facility based on enterprise blockchain Waves.