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 Da li nas blockchain tehnologija uvodi u novo doba poslovanja?

IS BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY BRINGING US INTO A NEW AGE OF DOING BUSINESS?

When we look back, and look at the path of technological development some twenty or thirty years ago, the achieved progress seems so great that we must all wonder, what else is there to invent?

Just when we started to get used to payment cards, then to e-banking and m-banking, something completely new arrives, blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. And while cryptocurrencies are being discussed and fought at all levels, blockchain technology has already shown its advantages and found application in other segments, and even in art, creating a new trend of "crypto art". But, more about that in another article.

In the simplest terms, "blockchain" represents a digital database whose copy is given to every computer located on a given blockchain network. What makes this technology stand out is that it requires each participant on the network to agree with the given information, that is, to validate it, in order for that information to be preserved. The information thus validated, with the date and time of validation, represents one "block". Each subsequent block of information builds on the previous one, thus creating a chain of blocks. This is where the name blockchain, that is, a chain of blocks, comes from. Another important feature is that once confirmed information, that is, a saved block, cannot be changed.

In addition to these two, there are several other features of blockchain, although the two mentioned are the most significant, especially in the financial world.

Several large and influential global financial institutions such as HSBC Bank, BNP Paribas, ING, Standard Chartered, Bank of China, and Citi Bank have pooled their budgets for the development of the first blockchain platforms for "trade finance", that is, for financing trade through documentary transactions. The end product is now two fully functional, decentralized platforms, which enable the execution of transactions in a very short time, without the need for paper documentation.

 THE FIRST FUNCTIONAL BLOCKCHAIN PLATFORMS

Two platforms that have already stood out in the previous period are CONTOUR i WE.TRADEThe development of the CONTOUR platform started in 2017 and already in November 2018 HSBC and ING made the first international transaction between India and Peru. As of October 2020, this platform has become fully functional and commercially available for all institutions engaged in international trade.

The WE.TRADE platform has been commercially available since January 2019 and according to the officially available data, 16 banks from 15 countries of the world have been networked on the platform and transactions worth more than €60 million have been carried out so far.

The platforms enable every participant in the business, buyer, seller, bank, transporter and others, to receive all the necessary information on time. The buyer and the seller conclude a contract through the platform and agree on all the details of the transaction. Immediately after the details have been agreed upon, the bank financing the trade automatically receives all the necessary information from the underlying deal and issues a letter of credit. After the letter of credit has been issued, the goods are shipped and the carrier generates the corresponding transport document. The seller of goods creates a set of electronic documents, which the seller will present to the buyer's bank, based on which payment will be made. After the documentation has been checked in accordance with the applicable rules, payment is made and the transaction is completed. Although there are a lot of steps in the business itself that involve the activities of several different parties, through these platforms the time of the entire realization of a transaction has been shortened to one to two days compared to the traditional way of doing business, which took seven to ten days. And more importantly, the level of transparency and security for all participants has increased.

WHY IS WHAT WE SAID ABOVE SO SIGNIFICANT?

It is estimated that between 80% and 90% of world trade depends on some product from the group of instruments intended for the financing of trade, i.e., "trade finance" (read more about trade finance in our previous article). In 2019 alone, the value of this market was almost US$8 trillion. By 2026, it is estimated that the trade finance market will grow to US$10 trillion. Institutions that are able to provide quality and fast service will secure their position on the market. These platforms are one of the ways to do that. They shorten the negotiation time, reduce the need for paperwork, increase reliability and transparency, and reduce the need for intermediaries and especially intermediary banks that increase costs. It is also possible for banks to provide services outside their country too.

HSBC Bank alone plans to transfer assets worth US$20 billion from paper form to blockchain platforms in the first year.

And, would you like it if all the institutions were networked with each other and when applying for a loan, card, factoring, you just click a button on your phone or computer once, and the bank automatically receives information from the relevant institutions, the court, the tax administration, credit register and the like? factoring, samo jednom kliknete na dugme na telefonu ili računaru, i banka automatski dobije informacije od relevantnih institucija, suda, poreske uprave, kreditnog registra i slično?

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