Tuesday, December 7

Blockchain streamlines and facilitates foreign trade in Europe, says CaixaBank

More than 400 European companies are carrying out their import and export commercial operations through the we.trade platform, created on the Hyperledger Fabric blockchain, and where at least 15 banks participate.

This was revealed by the director of foreign trade and treasury of the Spanish bank that is part of that platform, CaixaBank, Julio de la Paz, during the forum Blockchain Technology, organized at the University of Navarra, yesterday Thursday.

According to the executive, several Spanish companies are part of that application created in 2018 and that many of them, rely on CaixaBank to operate in it.

He explained that we.trade uses blockchain “to improve and streamline the international transaction process” between a buyer and a seller “That many times do not know each other.”

Thanks to we.trade, the parties can overcome this mistrust, they can offer guarantees to each other based on smart contracts, that if you buy on a certain site, payments will occur, offering a bank guarantee from the buyer to the seller and that that seller can be financed through that guarantee.

Julio de la Paz, director of foreign trade and treasury at CaixaBank.

Peace highlighted blockchain as the foundation that allows the value to reach a customer, with reduced time, increased security, traceability and security included.

“Just by having an agreement with your counterpart, setting milestones and making a self-payment, is a great advantage,” he said, and explained that it is a process that can be done in one day, likewise, thanks to blockchain. Contrary to the common and normal processes, where the documentation travels, is validated and reviewed by the banks, in an average of 1 or 2 weeks.

“In we.trade, with the agreement of the two parties, you can have that closed, the contract agreements, the Smart Contract, and if you have to put a bank guarantee, it is also done on the same day. The time gain is evident, ”he argued.

Julio de la Paz, director of foreign trade and treasury at CaixaBank / Source: YouTube.

Regarding the expansion of this platform to other latitudes, the executive commented that projects such as we.trade’s start with the companies that have the most recurrence, in this case importers and exporters, “Who can take more advantage of technology.” “Those projects, which sometimes start in a segment, end up being transferred,” he estimated.

Almost two years of the association

CaixaBank is on the way to comply two years since announcing its association with the we.trade platform, a fact reported by CriptoNoticias at the time.

In January 2020, it was known that CaixaBank had incorporated the Hyperledger Fabric solution to its catalog of business services to execute and finance international trade transactions.

At the time, the bank indicated that the platform was designed to encourage foreign trade between small and medium-sized European companies, monitor agreements in real time and generate smart contracts that link the commercial operation to financing and compliance with the established conditions.

The digital euro, under study within CaixaBank

The forum also talked about the digital euro, the central bank digital currency project (CBDC), which is being carried out by the European Central Bank (ECB), to deal with the incursion of cryptocurrencies in the Old Continent.

According to Xabier Rebés, who is CaixaBank’s director of innovation and who also participated in the forum, the digital euro is an aspect on which they are dedicating «a lot of effort», in order to understand it and prepare for its arrival.

“It is clear that it is in a design stage and that there are certain doubts about how this initiative will be developed in the future,” he said, to then talk about Smart Money, a project that, in conjunction with IberPay, CaixaBank launched as a platform that intended to recreate what could be the operation of the CBDC.

He explained that the euro, on that platform, would have a two-layer scheme, where banks would receive it and then distribute it. towards the clients of the institution.

«All this was built under one layer, a blockchain network that IberPay has that is interbank and that also intended to ensure that interoperability with the payment systems that we already have in progress and that is also part of one of the design requirements of the digital euro ”, he specified.

And he finished by clarifying that, from that financial institution, services related to European digital money have been explored, such as identification capabilities, and that it’s all in a report recently released by the bank.

It is expected that there will be a pilot (of the digital euro) throughout the second half of next year and in principle, this initiative should have helped us to generate the capacities so that when that pilot arrives, we will have part of the work done.

Xabier Rebés, CaixaBank’s director of innovation.

Xabier Rebés, who is CaixaBank’s director of innovation / Source: YouTube.

CaixaBank, squarely with fintech companies

CaixaBank is one of the Spanish banks that has been most closely related to fintech and everything that has to do with blockchain. Through revolutionary technology, they have advanced projects that, according to them, are to streamline and facilitate the lives of its users and customers.

According to Rebés, they have been investigating everything related to technology since 2015, and after recognizing the differences and advantages, in 2017 they started with some projects, focused on four areas where the blockchain has value.

These are automation and enhancement in transactions, digital identity, asset tokenization, and finally cryptocurrencies, which have had great penetration in the Spanish economy.

In fact, CaixaBank has had a lot to do with cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin (BTC). A few weeks ago, his association with the Onyze exchange made headlines, for the development of a platform for the purchase and sale of these assets.

According to what this newspaper reported, Onyze would help the bank “to face the company’s strategic challenges, with an innovative project that further strengthens its position in the Spanish and international market.”