Tradeshift Startup Uses ETH Blockchain to Cut B2B Costs

By December 19, 2019Ethereum
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Supply chain fintech startup Tradeshift Frontiers, famous for advertising more than two million companies on its platform, said it has cut the cost of cross-border transactions between buyers and suppliers utilizing public Ethereum blockchain.

Last year, Tradeshift startup managed to raise $250 million in a Series E funding round led by Goldman Sachs and Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments). That brought Tradeshift’s total funding to more than $400 million. The company represents invoice values as tokenized IOUs between buyers and sellers and then puts them in a different form of on-chain fiat currency.

These tokenized IOUs are called Flow Tokens are important for traditional financial institutions that make money on cross-border payments. Main idea is to do for supply chain management and trade finance the same Libra wants to do for its eventual customers with wallets and stablecoins.

Tradeshift went into partnership e-money license holder Monerium, the company backed by Consensys. Earlier this year, both companies managed to settle the world’s first invoice on the blockchain using smart contracts and licensed digital cash.

The next phase of handling saw cross-border transactions that involved euro-denominated e-money inside the smart contract.

Tradeshift and Monerium settled first €1024 (US$1,141.78) and then €512, at a fixed fee cost of 17 cents and 16 cents.

Tradeshift explained that payment fees can vary from €0 to even €30 for a cross-border transaction in the €1000 range.
Monerium co-founder and CEO Sveinn Valfells said e-money is one of the oldest and most effective schemes for digital cash in any bigger entity.

He said that they are “deliberately going slow and trying not to break things, which is how it should be in finance,” adding that Monerium’s e-money on Ethereum has been approved for use in Iceland, Denmark, Germany, U.K., Lithuania, France and Sweden.

“We issue e-money on Ethereum to an ERC-20 compliant smart contract that works as a programmable passbook. Subject to KYC/AML, we issue the e-money as a balance to a person’s public key into our ERC-20 contract. They are then at liberty to use that e-money as they would if it were issued in some other digital format.”

Speaking of cross-border payments, Gert Sylvest, co-founder of Tradeshift and GM of Tradeshift Frontiers, noted they “have taken an accepted invoice and tokenized it on Ethereum. On the due day, a smart contract automatically swaps the tokenized invoice for the e-money that is on-chain.”

However, there were complaints as well. Some of them were issued by Hafsteinn Guðbjartsson, CEO of the Nordic Store.

“We send a lot of money to China, which is pretty opaque. Thailand is probably the most problematic; I guess they have some kind of financial constraints on their currency or something, and we cannot buy Thai baht. So we send them dollars, and in the process of sending them dollars they never receive the same amount as they invoiced for. Our bank charges, but their bank seems to take a lot of money. We always have to send another small payment. It’s just extra work for nothing, really”, said he.

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