GSBN, ZAN tokenise paperless trade


Global Shipping Business Network (GSBN) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with ZAN to explore technical innovations for tokenising the electronic Bill of Lading (eBL).

The collaboration will take place with the support of Hong Kong’s Web3 ecosystem, with the goal of unlocking new economic values for global trade partners.

The announcement was made during Hong Kong FinTech Week, the city’s flagship fintech conference. This comes at a time when there is growing investment and focus in Web3 development in Asia, particularly in Hong Kong which is establishing itself as an integrated international finance and digital asset hub.

As a technology brand of Ant Group Digital Technologies, ZAN aims to bring reliable and cost-efficient technical products and services for blockchain application development to the Web3 community.

According to GSBN, paper documents are still used in 99 per cent of global commerce, with over 45 million Bills of Lading couriered around the world each year to keep shipments flowing.

READ: GSBN, GCMD pen data sharing partnership agreement

However, recent developments such as advances in blockchain technology and the passage of the Electronic Trade Documents Act in the UK in 2023 have accelerated the shipping industry’s adoption of electronic eBLs, with nine of the largest shipping lines committing to full adoption by 2030.

Tokenisation of Real-World Assets, which may unleash genuine economic value and new funding options, is one of Web3’s primary use cases.

In this situation, a tokenised eBL can pave the way for the securitisation of the world’s $25 trillion trade flows and bridge the global trade financing gap, which the Asian Development Bank estimates to be $2.5 trillion.

READ: GSBN issues inaugural eBLs with COSCO Energy and COSCO Bulk

Bertrand Chen, CEO at GSBN, said: “We are in the right place at the right time. The move towards eBL is already a major leap for the industry but together with tokenisation, we can go one step further.

“Together with ZAN, we will explore tokenising the rights to these shipments with the aim of unlocking an entirely new asset class. From here, we can create new securitisation opportunities to bridge the world’s trade finance gap and create the foundations for novel business models.”

Zhang Hui, CEO of ZAN, stated: “Blockchain-powered trusted data infrastructure brings an ideal foundation for promoting digitalised industry collaboration and addressing some of the stickiest challenges in the shipping industry.

“We are excited to partner with GSBN to leverage Web3 technologies to improve the efficiency and reliability, and explore new frontiers of global trade.”

In October, GSBN signed a MoU with DNV to promote decarbonisation and the adoption of alternative fuels by enabling the sharing of verified data for green claims.

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