World’s First Oil Trading Blockchain Platform VAKT goes live
VAKT, a company that reimagines the post – trade handling of commodities supported by the blockchain, has introduced its first market platform. Traders of the physically traded BFOET crude oil –including several of the world’s leading energy traders–will presently benefit from enhanced security and proficiency.
This private launch is the foremost fully functioning blockchain platform in the world to come into the market. VAKT is an independent firm that has been established and bolstered by some of the world’s top energy companies, commodity traders and banks. Of these, BP, Equinor, Shell, Gunvor and Mercuria have confidentially launched as VAKT’s primary users in January, functioning in parallel with their inner systems.
John Jimenez, Interim CEO, said “We’ve been overwhelmed by the strength of response to the VAKT concept. Launching into our first market with such high-calibre first users is a transformational moment for us and the industry. But it’s just the start: success for a blockchain solution depends on widespread adoption and we’re looking forward to seeing the ecosystem grow.”
Koch Supply & Trading, ABN Amro, ING and Societe Generale are the rest of the sponsors of VAKT. VAKT has built a safe, real-time blockchain digital platform based on ThoughtWorks, an international software consultancy, and bolstered by JPMorgan’s private distributed ledger Quorum. The platform oversees physical energy exchanges from commercial dealings to final settlement, disposing of reconciliation and paper formalities.
Eren Zekioglu, Chief Operations & IT Officer, Gunvor, said “To be great, a trading company needs two things: good technology and speed. By radically streamlining post-trade processes, VAKT offers both. This is a big step for the physical energy trading markets and I see VAKT becoming the industry-standard.”
Although the preliminary launch is constrained to BFOET crude oil contracts in particular, VAKT’s goal is to widen the platform to all physically traded energy commodities. The company is creating its roadmap in answer to industrial needs, but US crude oil pipelines and refined product barges in Northern Europe are planned to be introduced in early 2019.
Andrew Smith, EVP Trading & Supply, Shell International Trading and Shipping Company Limited said “Digitalization is changing how the energy value chain works. It’s an exciting time. Collaboration with our peers and some of the industry’s key players is the best way to combine market expertise and achieve the scale necessary to launch a digital transaction platform that could transform the way we all do business. Ultimately the aim is improved speed and security, which benefits everyone along the supply chain from market participants to customers.”