Noelle Acheson is a 10-year veteran of company analysis, corporate finance and fund management, and is a member of CoinDesk’s product team.
The following article originally appeared in CoinDesk Weekly, a custom-curated newsletter delivered exclusively to our subscribers.
This past week, European banks ING and Société Générale unveiled a blockchain platform designed to facilitate oil trading.
Far from making a splash on the front page of CoinDesk (or other mainstream publications for that matter), the news debuted via a quiet press release, eked out into cyberspace without much fanfare.
It’s unfortunate, because this news was worth a second look.
To see why, let’s break the development down into three factors that make it stand out:
1. This project is not just a proof-of-concept. The announcement revealed a live transaction with the commodities trading house Mercuria. A cargo shipment containing African crude oil was sold three times on its way to China. Traders, banks, an agent and an inspector were all involved.
According to the participants, the result proved that a blockchain-powered system can significantly reduce the time needed to complete a transaction, as well as enhance document reliability, auditability and user experience.
2. The commodities industry needs a