Monday 26 October 2015

Replacing letters of credit with escrow transactions using multi-sig accounts

In an earlier post, I have argued that the blockchain technology could finally herald a breakthrough in the digitization of bills of lading, which are a backbone of trade in goods.
Another backbone of trade in goods is a letter of credit. It may be replaced by a vastly cheaper alternative of escrow transactions using multi-signature accounts on blockchains. A letter of credit relies on the issuing bank checking conformity of documents with the terms of the credit. As a non-expert in goods, the bank is not concerned with the conformity of goods with the underlying sale contract (under the principle of independence as enshrined in the UCPs). Under the alternative model, an expert in goods will act as the holder of a third signature for the multi-signature account, who will be called upon to inspect the goods in case of any dispute between the seller and the buyer.
For both bills of lading and letters of credit, the blockchain technology may offer alternatives and thus has the potential of providing a spark for the world trade and economy. Are there any entrepreneurs willing to put these ideas into practice?

No comments:

Post a Comment