Bain supports banking consortium with blockchain platform Voltron

30 October 2018 3 min. read
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Consulting firm Bain & Company has entered a partnership with a host of leading finance and technology brands to launch a new blockchain platform. Voltron is aimed at helping banks to leverage commercially viable blockchain solutions to benefit customers and increase the security of transactions.

Amid a rapidly digitalising world in which new technological breakthroughs are also emboldening and empowering cyber-criminals, blockchain is increasingly being touted as a must-have to secure everything from financial transactions to food supply chains. Modern trade finance solutions were largely built in siloes, adding significant risk, operational inefficiencies and costs into the process, while blockchain has long been spoken of as the remedy to this, as it could not only save companies large sums of money in efficiencies, but improve security and productivity. As a result, commodity firms and banks have been diving into blockchain pilot schemes over the last two years.

Now, a new initiative named Voltron has been launched with the initial aim of using blockchain technology to bring significant efficiencies to transacting letters of credit intent. Voltron is an open platform for documentary trade, targeting production on R3’s Corda Enterprise blockchain platform in 2019. The solution was forged by a host of founding members, which include Bangkok Bank, BNP Paribas,  CTBC Holding, HSBC, ING, NatWest, SEB, Standard Chartered, CryptoBLK, R3 and MBB strategy consulting giant Bain & Company.

Bain supports banking consortium with blockchain platform Voltron

In the future, Voltron will also enable banks to speed up financing decisions and enhance the customer experience. At present, Voltron is working with four of the leading trade finance platform vendors to design and build a solution that will offer a Voltron-enabled service to their existing bank and corporate customers.

Collaboration with corporate customers has been critical in shaping the initiative, with a successful live transaction with Cargill in May 2018 demonstrating the viability of the platform. Voltron will continue to extend its corporate customer programme, as it is in discussions with a number of corporates. Corporate customers will be able to connect with their banks and trading partners via a single, simplified channel, for both issuance of letters of credit and presentation/exchange of documents across an open network.

David Rutter, CEO of R3, commented on the platform, “It is critical for banks and corporates to have the option to work with the technology partner of their choice, as this lowers barriers to adoption and helps drive widespread deployment of Voltron via our partners. In addition, our focus on industry collaboration and open networks uniquely positions Voltron to scale by leveraging the Corda Network to ensure interoperability with other global trade initiatives and  other networks including supply chain, cash, insurance and identity.”

Related: Bain & Company grows UK revenues by 7% to £149 million.