Russian Smelting Giant Nornickel Launches Metal Tokenization Platform for Testing

Nornickel, the Russian mining and smelting giant, has taken another step toward the issuance of tokens backed by metals on Atomyze, a Hyperledger-based blockchain platform.

The platform is now launched for testing alongside a handful of Nornickel’s partners including commodity trading company Trafigura, metal refinery firm Umicore and supply chain consultancy Traxys, according to an announcement Tuesday. (All three have been involved in early-stage trials with Nornickel since December, Bloomberg reported at the time.)

Later, a wider circle of institutional players will have access to the distributed ledger technology (DLT) platform, according to Atomyze. It’s expected to serve the companies from Switzerland and the U.S., as Nornickel CEO Vladimir Potanin told Bloomberg Tuesday morning.

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Users in Russia might also be able to access Atomyze by the year’s end, but only if long-in-the-works regulations clarifying the status of digital assets have been passed by that time.

The first batch of tokens will be backed by palladium, cobalt and copper mined by Nornickel. Over the first year, Nornickel expects to tokenize up to 10 percent of its overall sales volume – a number that may rise to 20 percent in the future, the firm said.

Umicore and Traxys didn’t respond to CoinDesk’s requests for comments by press time. However, a Trafigura spokesperson said the company is “in advanced discussions to participate” in Atomyze and “is looking forward to taking an active part in the testing phase of the platform.”

Atomyze was created by Tokentrust, a Swiss entity led by CEO Marco Grossi, a former director of Deloitte Switzerland. Tokentrust’s board includes Alexander Stoyanov, the managing director of Nornickel’s subsidiary Global Palladium Fund.

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IBM was also involved, acting as the project’s lead technology partner. Big Blue “participated in the development of the platform and in the integration of the advanced BFT (Byzantine Fault Tolerant) consensus mechanism, which allows implementing a system with an open governance model when using the Hyperledger Fabric framework,” a company representative said.

Atomyze is further applying for a securities license in Switzerland that would allow it to operate an organized trading facility (OTF), Grossi said through a spokesperson.

Atomyze is “in discussion with large institutional and professional organizations from various industries who are envisaged to participate in our DLT network by running independent nodes to ensure the right level of decentralization,” the spokesperson said.

The network will run in IBM’s public cloud and comply with the European privacy protection law known as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and a security regulation called Cloud Computing Compliance Controls Catalog (C5), Atomyze said.

Nornickel has been working on tokenizing its metals for a while, aiming to turn them into more liquid assets and make the sales process easier and more flexible, Nornickel CEO Vladimir Potanin said in October.

The company joined the Hyperledger enterprise DLT consortium last summer. Nornickel has been testing the solution inside a regulatory sandbox set up by Russia’s central bank. However, a lack of clarifying regulations for digital assets means it can’t go live.

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How Russia’s largest bank used blockchain technology to buy debts

The blockchain scene in Russia is growing all the time, with bigger and bigger players making use of the technology. Sberbank, the largest Russian bank, has successfully used blockchain technology to close a $15 million transaction with Trafigura, the third-largest physical commodities trading group worldwide.

Sberbank bought accounts receivable in a pilot transaction supported by the Hyperledger Fabric platform. The bank’s first deputy chairman Alexander Vedyakhin revealed the news during the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, Russia. The technical details were made public soon after the announcement.

Russian blockchain initiatives appear to be thriving thanks to an increased interest in the technology by most of the country’s large organisations as well as government agencies. However, the Russian government continues to remain somewhat guarded when it comes to cryptocurrencies.

$15 million worth of accounts receivable

The details of the pilot transaction weren’t kept under wraps for too long. The Singapore-based giant Trafigura sold $15 million worth of accounts payable to Sberbank. The debt belongs to one of Trafigura’s clients from Turkey.

The transaction was concluded through the blockchain-based platform Hyperledger Fabric. Sberbank took advantage of Fabric’s ability to segment data and maintain the confidentiality of certain parts of the network.

On the surface, the transaction may seem like just another typical financial agreement. But this is a significant milestone for the blockchain industry. It shows how smart contracts and blockchain technology can speed up international transfers. It also provides proof that businesses can benefit from blockchain in real-life scenarios.

This particular Russian blockchain project developed by Sberbank is a system that uses the Aurelia framework and the Scala language to write smart contracts. The bank also piloted a system that enables the validation of new blocks of complete transactions in one second.

Sberbank also owns a cloud-based solution that complements the system, called SberCloud.

‘From one day to one hour’

The transaction between Sberbank and Trafigura was completed through a smart contract hard-coded onto the blockchain. This type of transaction shows how efficient blockchain technology can be for international trading.

Vedyakhin stated that the new initiative by Sberbank had increased the efficiency of document flows and completed the transaction in one hour instead of one day.

According to the chairman, the pilot transaction between Sberbank and Trafigura could even redefine global trade. He stated:

“Our blockchain pilot project records every step of the transaction: request for the purchase of receivables, application processing and its approval with the bank, issuing the bank’s offer, confirmation of terms by Trafigura, and settlement of the transaction.”

A Trafigura spokesperson confirmed that the transaction was completed without any friction. The two companies are now planning to collaborate and use blockchain technology for other use cases.

The Russian blockchain ecosystem

Russia’s largest bank placed a bet on blockchain, and the investment seems to be paying off. The Russia blockchain ecosystem proves that this technology is no longer something of the future, but a viable solution to today’s challenges.

Using smart contracts to buy debts isn’t the first time Sberbank’s team of developers has used the blockchain for global trading either. Last year, Hyperledger Fabric was used to complete an off-exchange repurchase agreement deal between Sberbank and Interros, a Russian investment company.

Russia’s largest bank has quite a history with blockchain technology, in fact. Last year, Sberbank claimed to be the first to complete a three-way repo deal using smart contracts and blockchain.

Besides speeding up transaction times, blockchain technology also reduces working hours for each transaction as well as the risks that come with international transfers. With all these advantages, Russia’s largest bank has decided to expand to other partners willing to use blockchain for transactions.

Russia is getting more interested in blockchain technology

Despite its unclear stance on cryptocurrencies, Russia isn’t missing a chance to dive into blockchain applications. From large businesses to government agencies, there are many stakeholders interested in blockchain technology and its disruptive features.

The Russian central bank, for instance, backs the Fintech Association, an organisation of which Sberbank is a member. The consortium functions on an Ethereum-based network and aims to study and implement distributed ledger technology to come up with practical solutions within the industry.

Sberbank was also part of the Russian project Masterchain, although it dropped out after the project failed to meet expectations. Sberbank’s lab has focused on its own projects instead, with significantly better results.

The post How Russia’s largest bank used blockchain technology to buy debts appeared first on Coin Rivet.


Russia’s Largest Bank Completes $15 Million Debt Purchase Via Hyperledger Blockchain

Using the Hyperledger Blockckhain, Russia’s Sberbank has successfully bought around $15 million worth of accounts as receivable from Singaporean commodity trading firm, Trafigura. According to a spokesperson for the largest bank in Russia, the purchase was completed using Hyperledger Fabric’s private collections feature, which allows some certain information remain private even with a network which has other members.

Furthermore, the Sberbank-driven framework through which the transaction was carried was done using smart contracts already programmed with the Scala general purpose language. The software is also powered by the Aurelia framework as well as SberCloud’s cloud service developed and deployed by Sberbank itself. The company boasts that it only takes one second to complete a full block of transactions on its platform.

The conclusion of the transaction was done a few days ago at the Eastern Economic Forum in Russia’s Vladivostok Pacific port city. Speaking on the transaction, Sberbank’s first deputy chairman, Alexander Vedyakhin, said that the system significantly reduced the amount of required time to complete the transaction by making the exchange of documents a lot more seamless. Vedyakhin said:

“Our blockchain pilot project records every step of the transaction: request for purchase of receivables, application processing and its approval with the bank, issuing the bank’s offer, confirmation of terms by Trafigura, and settlement of the transaction.”

Because of the success of this transaction, both Trafigura and Sberbank are currently making plans to find more ways through which blockchain technology can significantly improve financial transactions and processes worldwide.

Image Credits: Pixabay


Russia’s Largest Bank Sberbank Purchases $15 Million in Debt via HyperLedger Blockchain

Russia’s largest financial institution Sberbank has reportedly purchased around $15 million worth of accounts receivable from Trafigura, a Singaporean commodity trading firm that leverages blockchain technology.

The pilot transaction was conducted on the Hyperledger Fabric platform, according to a representative from Sberbank. The blockchain-based purchase used Fabric’s private collections feature, which allows data to be kept confidential among selected network participants.

The DLT-powered system piloted by the Russian bank uses smart contracts that have been programmed using the Scala language. The system’s software also uses the Aurelia framework and the bank’s proprietary cloud solution, SberCloud. A block of complete transactions is formed in only one second, according to Sberbank’s management.

The deal was finalized last week at the Eastern Economic Forum, held in Vladivostok, Russia, by the institution’s first deputy chairman Alexander Vedyakhin.

Technical details and the value of the deal have not been disclosed.

A client in Turkey owed Trafigura the receivables acquired by Sberbank.

Vedyakhin noted that the technology-assisted in improving the efficiency of the document flow, which helped reduce the time required to complete the transaction “from one day to one hour.”

Explaining how the pilot transaction was performed, Vedyakhin noted:

“Our blockchain pilot project records every step of the transaction: request for purchase of receivables, application processing and its approval with the bank, issuing the bank’s offer, confirmation of terms by Trafigura, and settlement of the transaction.”

The pilot demonstrated that blockchain technology has improved significantly, and is now providing real value to businesses, Sberbank’s representatives said.

The bank’s spokesperson also pointed out:

“What we see in 2019, and in this pilot in particular, is an ongoing evolution of this tech, from a promising but not yet developed technology into a more advanced and mature solution ready to live up to its initial disruptive image.”

Sberbank and Trafigura are now planning to explore the use of blockchain in enhancing global trade finance processes, the spokesperson revealed.

Previously, Sberbank’s blockchain lab used Hyperledger Fabric while looking into the different types of distributed ledgers. In November 2018, the banking giant conducted an off-exchange repurchase agreement deal with Russian investment firm Interros’ branch in Cyprus.


Sberbank Bank Buys $15M In Debt In Pilot From Trafigura Trading Giant Using Hyperledger’s Fabric

Sberbank, known as the largest banking institution in Russia, recently used blockchaintechnology to buy around $15 million USD worth of debt in accounts receivable from Trafigura, a commodity trader based in Singapore.

This transaction was made using the technology of Hyperledger Fabric platform. The announcement was made this week by the bank and a spokesperson confirmed that this tech provides several advantages for companies that want to trade internationally.

With the private collections feature of the technology, the company was able to keep a part of the data confidential between some of the participants. The system use smart contracts written with a Scala programming language and the Aurelia framework. SberCloud, the cloud solution of the bank, was also used at the time.

According to Alexander Vedyakhin, the deputy chairman of the Russian bank, the blockchain technology was very helpful in making the document flow considerably more efficient than it was before. Something that could take up to a day to do before is now done in an hour.

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He also confirmed that the pilot project was very useful because all the steps were fully recorded, so the process could be followed and reviewed all along the way.

This is yet another example of how blockchainhas been useful for the financial market. The spokesperson of the bank confirmed that this technology represents an ongoing evolution in the market and that more advanced solutions are set to be used soon.


Russia’s Largest Bank Buys $15 Million in Debt Using Hyperledger Blockchain

Sberbank, the largest bank in Russia, has bought about $15 million worth of accounts receivable from the Singapore-based commodity trading giant Trafigura using a blockchain.

The pilot transaction was made on the Hyperledger Fabric platform, a spokesperson for the bank said. It took advantage of Fabric’s private collections feature, which can keep a certain set of data confidential among a subset of network participants.

The system piloted by Sberbank leverages smart contracts written in the Scala language, using the Aurelia framework and Sberbank’s own cloud solution, SberCloud. It takes one second to form a block of complete transactions, the company claimed.

The deal was revealed last week during the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, Russia, by Sberbank’s first deputy chairman Alexander Vedyakhin, but the size and technical details were not made public at the time.

The receivables acquired by Sberbank were owed to Trafigura by a large client from Turkey.

In his press statement, Vedyakhin said the technology helped make document flow more efficient, reducing the time needed to complete a deal “from one day to one hour.”

“Our blockchain pilot project records every step of the transaction: request for purchase of receivables, application processing and its approval with the bank, issuing the bank’s offer, confirmation of terms by Trafigura, and settlement of the transaction,” Vedyakhin said.

‘Ongoing evolution’

The pilot showed how far blockchain tech has come and its value to businesses, Sberbank said.

“What we see in 2019, and in this pilot in particular, is an ongoing evolution of this tech, from a promising but not yet developed technology into a more advanced and mature solution ready to live up to its initial disruptive image,” the bank’s spokesperson said, adding that Sberbank and Trafigura are considering expanding the use of blockchain in global trade finance.

A Trafigura spokesperson told CoinDesk that “the transaction flowed seamlessly between Sberbank and Trafigura,” and the two companies are discussing how they can use the tech for other use cases.

Sberbank’s blockchain lab previously used Hyperledger Fabric while investigating the opportunities of distributed ledgers: in November, the bank completed an off-exchange repurchase agreement deal with the Cyprus branch of the Russian investment company Interros.

In 2017, Sberbank launched another pilot, in which a payment involving the Russian companies MegaFon, MegaLabs and Alfa-Bank was recorded on a distributed ledger using Fabric.

Sberbank is also a member of the Fintech Association, a consortium backed by the Russian central bank that’s working on ethereum-based enterprise platform dubbed Masterchain.

Sberbank image via Shutterstock