Carrier line Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) has announced that it will be testing blockchain technology with the Japanese branch of IBM and other major national corporations to verify whether the digitized ledger can streamline and upgrade cross-border trade operations.
A blockchain demonstration test this month (December 2017) will use information from real trade transactions with a blockchain-based application.
A wide variety of documents, including trade agreements and logistics and insurance documents will be digitized, recorded and shared among participants.
By comparing against current operations, the test aims to verify the effectiveness of blockchain technology for enhancing security and reducing the time needed to settle cross-border trade transactions, discrepancies among related documents and administrative costs.
Looking to commercialization, the technology will be evaluated for its viability in cross-border trade business operations.
MOL is expected to offer its expertise to the demonstration test.
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In a statement on its website MOL said it aims to draw upon ICT technologies to enhance its services and “become the corporate group that customers think of first when they choose a logistics business partner”.
Seeking to develop various business applications that meet the business sector's demand for high-level security, IBM participates in Hyperledger, an open source collaborative effort created to advance cross-industry blockchain technologies hosted by The Linux Foundation.
The demonstration test will use Hyperledger Fabric, a blockchain framework and one of the Hyperledger projects.
Other participating Japanese companies also include two banks — Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (SMFG) and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC), the Japan Research Institute (JRI), which provides research, consulting, and systems integration services; the general trading company Mitsui & Co (Mitsui & Co) and insurance holding company Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Company (MSI).
SMFG, SMBC, and JRI aim to use new information technologies to adapt to become a more competitive and innovative financial group and continuously upgrade the quality of customer service.
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Through the application of blockchain technology to the safe-keeping of legal information, SMFG is committed to adding value and offering innovative new financial products and services.
Mitsui & Co. provides trading services, offering safe and optimized delivery of goods and services desired by customers worldwide.
In the demonstration test, the company aims to combine the experience and know-how gained from its long-standing global trading business with the cutting-edge blockchain technology, and achieve better productivity in trade transactions and gain new business opportunities.
MSI's business offers safety and security to resolve various social challenges.
The company, through this trade platform, aims to provide services developed using advanced technologies, such as blockchain and IoT.