Recently, I wrote about a small $100,000 trade of cheese and butter.
This one trade changed 400 years of history in just four hours.
How so? Normally, it would take 10 days to handle the paperwork. But this trade concluded in less than four hours.
The solution: a blockchain platform that streamlined the entire process.
While the trade was small, it was big for the $7 trillion trade finance industry.
What exactly is trade finance?
It’s when two companies in different countries want to buy and sell from each other. They use a bank to guarantee the transaction…
For more than 400 years, trade finance hasn’t changed much. It requires a mountain of paperwork. And all the parties involved spend a lot of time proving that they truly own what they say they own.
But that’s all about to change.
Today, we show you how the blockchain is changing the inefficient trade finance industry. And we’ll show you how to profit as well.
How the Blockchain Is Disrupting Trade Finance
The trend in blockchain and trade finance is accelerating.
In February 2017, a cargo shipment containing $25 million worth of African crude steamed its way to China.
The merchants involved sold the oil three times during the trip. Banks, agents, inspectors, and a commodity trading firm were all involved.
The traditional analogue solution involved hundreds of documents. And it took at least three hours to complete each trade.
But on this trip, each trade took less than 25 minutes.
The name of the project that made a 25-minute trade possible is Easy Trading Connect. It’s a partnership between Société Générale and ING.
And it works by moving the transactions to a private version of the Ethereum blockchain.
This particular transaction involved ING, Société Générale, and commodity trading house Mercuria.
Saving time wasn’t the only benefit of the trade.
ING reported that trader efficiency improved by 33%. And Marco Dunand, CEO of Mercuria, stated the blockchain reduced costs by 30%.
The blockchain is a savior for this manually intensive, paperwork-heavy process.
Physical documents have always been a problem. It opens up transactions to human error, fraud, and delays.
With the blockchain, all documents get digitized. That makes documents safer to move around. And it solves a lot of paperwork problems.
For example, Mercuria sold the oil heading to China three times before it arrived. Because of the blockchain, Mercuria, ING, and Société Générale all had access to real-time data. No one had to go searching for the original source documents.
Further, they were able to “auto-check” documents on a computer rather than doing it manually. That makes for a smooth process.
There’s a huge incentive to move to the blockchain. Santander estimates the blockchain will cut trade finance costs up to $20 billion.
What to Do Next
Easy Trading Connect proves the blockchain works to conduct business.
And the benefit of the blockchain in trade finance is obvious.
This is just getting started. Venture capital firms and financial institutions are pouring millions of investment dollars into the blockchain.
Right now, over 50 major financial institutions have in-house blockchain projects or relationships with blockchain startups.
Do you want exposure to the burgeoning blockchain bull market? The simplest way would be to buy a small amount of bitcoin.
Many new blockchain applications base their network on the bitcoin blockchain. And you need bitcoin to buy most other coins.
Doug Casey: As you probably know, I've been involved in the investment world going back to the '70s.
I've been pitched by "experts" on all kinds of investments. But for the most part, I've stuck to what I know best – investing in precious metals and real estate when I see a bubble forming, and getting out before it pops.
So you may be surprised to hear that I've recently become interested in a new asset class: cryptocurrencies.
I'm talking about Bitcoin and its offshoots.
At a recent investor's conference in Miami, I heard a presentation about this little-known market from a former hedge fund manager named Teeka Tiwari.
Teeka is extremely well-connected in this market, traveling all over the world meeting with experts.
He explained that over the past year, this market has taken off. Dozens of "cryptos" have shot up 1,000%, 5,000%... even 10,000% or more.
This got my attention.
I know a bull market when I see one... It seems to me that a marvelous bubble is building up in this area. And it's one that I would like to take advantage of.
* * *
Tonight at 8 p.m., Teeka Tiwari will host a free cryptocurrency question-and-answer session. You can submit your questions and watch the Q&A session by clicking here. But you must act soon… Anyone who joins his service by midnight will receive $100 in bitcoin.