IT firm Mphasis, which is owned by private equity multinational Blackstone, has partnered with blockchain tech firm Bitfury with the aim of disrupting trade finance.

The firms say they will bring new transparency and efficiency to settlement, foreign exchange and financing processes using automation and “new forms of tokenization,” according to an announcement Tuesday.

“Instant” settlement of export and import trade transactions, streamlining “complex” forex infrastructures and improving flexibility in liquidity management for financial institutions will be the key areas of focus, according to the announcement.

These “highly outdated, inflexible and disjointed” processes result in a “complex gridlock that limits visibility for all parties and hinders access to liquidity for those who need it most,” said Bitfury.

“Using blockchain technology, we will create interoperable systems that deliver the highest degrees of trust, transparency and security to [global trade] industry,” said the blockchain firm’s CEO, Valery Vavilov.

This interoperability is said to allow functionality across different types of procure-to-pay networks, distribution platforms and trade finance consortia.

Andres Ricaurte, senior vice president and global head of payments for India-based Mphasis, told Reuters the effort will create “a digital representation of the liquidity that’s trapped inside this supply chain.”

“Our goal is to accelerate the disruption and transformation in the trade finance space. The exact end-goal – whether it’s a platform, a trade token, or a consortia is still to be figured out,” he said.

Dock image via Shutterstock 

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