Japan Inc. Gets Behind Blockchain

The Covid-19 pandemic has given fresh impetus to the need for paper-free international trade processes.

Seven Japanese companies led by NTT Data are jointly investing with the blockchain-based trade-data sharing platform TradeWaltz. Mitsubishi, Toyota Tsusho, Tokio Marine Nichido, MUFG, Kanematsu, Sompo Japan and NTT Data will initially focus on Japanese trade with Asean countries.

The Covid-19 pandemic has given fresh impetus to the need for paper-free trade. TradeWaltz predicts that blockchain will make it possible to digitize and centrally manage all trading operations, cutting workloads by as much as 50%.

TradeWaltz joins a long list of blockchain consortia looking to digitaize trade, including Marco Polo, Voltron, komgo, eTradeConnect, we.trade, Contour, India Trade Connect, the People’s Bank of China Blockchain Trade Finance Platform and Skuchain.

To date, the lack of interoperability has held back the wide-scale development of the trade digitization, thwarted by a combination of technology, governance, data ownership and commercial interests. Until the consortia and all their members actively work toward a network-of-networks model for interoperability, trade finance will never scale up.