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ICICI Bank launches a blockchain for trade finance and international remittances

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ICICI Bank has created a blockchain application and piloted transactions on its block chain network in partnership with Emirates NBD, a banking group in the Middle East. The bank developed the block chain application with EdgeVerve Systems, a subsidiary of Infosys.

MediaNama has written to the bank for further details and will update once we hear from them.

A blockchain , the underlying technology in bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies, is a shared digital ledger which is continuously updated with all transactions. This ledger keeps a record of each transaction that occurs across a fully distributed or peer-to-peer network, either public or private.

Shared ledgers are encrypted at the record level and provide a way to validate transactions through little or no human intervention. Once the transaction is validated, a single shared, distributed ledger provides unified, tamperproof visibility into the transaction record. Blockchains can also be used to execute smart contracts. As such, they will find great use in stock and bond trading where there are many transactions happen simultaneously and it provides visibility to allocate money.

Smart contracts can be executed in minutes and escrow services will not be necessary. Remittance of amounts will be instant.

In ICICI Bank, the first transaction on the blockchain was executed to showcase confirmation of import of shredded steel melting scrap by a Mumbai-based export-import firm from a Dubai-based supplier.

The second transaction involved a transaction on the blockchain application that enabled an ICICI Bank branch in Mumbai to remit funds to an Emirates NBD branch in Dubai in real time. It could do so as the blockchain technology is equipped to send real time financial message to the recipient bank allowing the remittance transaction to take place instantly.

The blockchain eliminated the need for financial messaging between banks and provides the convenience of instant cross-border remittances for retail customers. Currently, international remittances take a few hours to up to two days.

Read more: PwC’s technology forecast on block chains

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