While there has been a great deal of attention being paid lately to the use of blockchain for the issuance and investment (or speculation) in cryptocurrencies, other enterprise-based applications of blockchain continue to be deployed with increasing frequency but less fanfare.
One of the more recent deployments of blockchain – viewed as a milestone in the world of supply chain logistics – is based on Easy Trading Connect (“ETC”), a blockchain-based system developed by a consortium of companies led by Dutch financial institution ING. The system was initially designed to manage commodity trading funds transactions. The most recent transaction, involving a shipment of soybean cargo, is believed to be the first agricultural commodity sale processed completely “on chain” (e.g., on a blockchain-based system). The ETC was used to process all steps of the transaction, and reportedly no paper contracts, certificates or other similar documents changed hands. According to ING, the system reduced what is traditionally a process of 11-14 days to only four days.
This is not the first deployment of ETC – in 2017, it was used to handle the sale of an oil consignment. The shipment at issue was resold three times through the system before it actually left its departure point. The banks involved reportedly reduced the cost typically associated with these types of transactions by thirty percent.