The Marco Polo Network, set up by technology firms Trade IX and R3, is now generally available on Microsoft Azure. Built to modernise trade finance, it enables trade banks and corporations to take advantage of the R3 Corda distributed ledger to better facilitate global trade.
Many trade banks rely on decades-old, paper-based processes that slow trade flow and add complexity and make onboarding expensive, reconciliation cumbersome, and the customer experience poor. The Marco Polo Network aims to combat this by providing a digital, distributed technology platform that allows trading parties to automate and streamline their trade and supply chain finance activities.
Applications are built and deployed on top of the platform that allow banks and corporations to perform specific product and trade orchestrations, and trading parties from buyers to insurers can exchange trade data and assets securely, in real time, and peer to peer using an open and distributed network powered by Corda. The network and platform are open, allowing third parties to build, develop and deploy their own solutions.
“International trade is indeed the lifeblood of the economy, which is why R3 is so proud to be a part of the Marco Polo Network,” said Ricardo Correia, head of partners at R3. “Together, Corda and Microsoft Azure are enabling TradeIX’s mission to transform trade finance, by bringing much needed efficiencies to this market, which holds hidden treasure in the hunt for high yields. We are honored to be part of the ecosystem that will build trade finance solutions on blockchain, and are excited to see what’s next.”
The platform uses 18 distinct Azure services and R3’s Corda distributed ledger technology. TradeIX packaged Corda and the Marco Polo Network application stack for deployment using Azure Container Instances and the Azure Container Registry. This enables participating to exchange data in real-time resulting in streamlined, automated business activities that increase efficiency in financing and cash flow management.
“It is exciting to be part of the growing ecosystem building trade finance solutions on blockchain,” said Michael Glaros, principal program manager of Azure global multiparty engineering at Microsoft. “Microsoft is honoured to be providing our global scale cloud as a foundation to R3 and TradeIX to speed this solution to market.”
Its cloud location also improved the customer eperience by providing a single infrastructure for banks and clients to manage their transactions—regardless of geolocation, currency, type of transaction, and industry.
“Azure is the platform for regulated industries like trade finance, and as such is the home for Marco Polo,” said Todd McDonald, co-founder and chief product officer at R3.
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